Smartphones Have to Factor Into Your Digital Strategy

If Google’s recent mobile algorithm change wasn’t enough to convince you to take a look at how mobile fits into your digital marketing strategy, the way Americans are using their smartphones may persuade you.

In April, the Pew Research Center released its study on U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015. One of the key findings of the study is that just over two-thirds of American adults are now smartphone owners and ownership levels tend to be higher in younger, well educated and higher income citizens.

For many Americans, smartphones are their main way to access and browse the Internet. By including mobile optimizations or tactics within your digital strategy your company will become available to a growing majority of the U.S. population.

In addition, Google released in a recent Think With Google article on how smartphone use is changing the way B2B purchasing takes place. There are some interesting statistics on how the Millennials are changing this process as well.

American Adults’ Use of Smartphones To Access The Internet

How Adults Use Smartphones Online Graph
While we are living in an increasingly connected world, some people continue to have a limited ability to access these connections. For these people, their smartphone may be the only way they can utilize the Internet.

In fact, Pew found that 10 percent of Americans only have Internet access because of their smartphone’s data plan and more broadly, 15 percent own a smartphone but claim limited access other than their data plan.

Pew also found that seven percent of Americans are what they call “Smartphone-Dependent.” This means these people have both limited options for accessing the Internet as well as not having broadband service at their home other than their phone’s data plan.

American Adults Use Smartphones to Research Major Life Events

Smartphones are used for much more than just browsing the Internet. In fact many uses were found to be for major life events like finding a job or looking up information on real estate.

The percentage of people who have used their smartphone within the last year for the following activities:

  • 62 percent searched for health information
  • 57 percent used online banking
  • 44 percent found housing information
  • 43 percent searched for job information
  • 40 percent found government services or information
  • 30 percent searched for educational/learning opportunities
  • 18 percent applied for a job

Surprise! Smartphone Use Is More Important to Young Adults

How Young Adults Use Their Smartphones

The percentages are even higher for the  activities listed above when you look into the responses from the younger adults surveyed. As you can see to the right there is a stark difference between adults aged 18-29 and those 50 years or older.

Young adults are more likely to incorporate their mobile device in their search for information or transactional behaviors. It is likely that these behaviors will continue as they grow into the next stages of being an adult when they are applying for career positions instead of jobs, looking to purchase a house or a car, getting their finances in order, starting families or pursuing advanced degrees.

Mobile Updates: The Long-term Benefits Outweigh the Short-term Costs

While it can be expensive for a business to update to a mobile-friendly site, if you want to show up for the search results under Google’s new algorithm or reach the younger adults and young families, you’ll have to.

The benefits of reaching these audiences with a great mobile experience outweigh the short-term costs of upgrading your website. Not only could it be one of the few ways that a customer will interact with your organization, but according to a recent post from Google, customers who use both online and physical storefronts for shopping, or omni-channel shoppers, have a 30 percent higher lifetime value than those only using one channel.

The increases in mobile are not just limited to B2C situations. Other statistics from Google show that over the last two years there has been a 91 percent increase in mobile usage throughout the purchasing process.

In fact, 42 percent of B2B researchers are using mobile during the process and nearly half of all B2B researchers are millennials who fall into the 18-34 year old demographic.

Mobile Will Only Grow in Importance

Not only will the use of smartphones increase while young adults are at their jobs, but their phones will continue to be an ever increasing part of finding the job in the first place, buying a house after getting the job and purchasing furnishings for their house and family.

If you find yourself or your organization without a mobile-friendly site, it’s high time you take advantage of what mobile can do for your business before your competitors do. Contact Risdall for more information on how incorporating mobile will benefit our business.

Additional Sources:

Google’s Omni-Channel Shoppers: An Emerging Retail Reality &

Think With Google: The Changing Face of B2B Marketing

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons – Matthew G – Love (of Technology)