It’s become a marketing trope to declare each successive year the “Year of Mobile.” We’ve heard it every year for the past decade. Since we as marketers have never collectively decided on which exact year should hold that title, I’m sure we will continue to hear similar proclamations for years to come.
So for the sake of describing 2015 without hyperbole, I’ll stick to the facts: after 2015 it’s clear we are firmly living in the mobile era. Whether this transition occurred in 2011 when smartphones out-shipped PCs, or years later when time spent on mobile exceeded desktop, we can all agree that smartphones have taken a central place in our lives. We spent 3 hours each day on our tablets and smartphones in 2015 in fact, according to eMarketer. With that much time spent on our mobile devices each and every day, how we use our devices can give us great insight into consumer behavioral patterns, preferences, and tendencies.
So how did we spend all of that time in 2015? Let’s take a look.
Unsurprisingly, we used our phones to seek out information. According to Google, mobile search eclipsed desktop last year. What did we search for? 67% of us used our phones to search for directions, which comes as no surprise. Other top searches show a growing comfort with taking more personal aspects of our lives mobile. For example 62% of us searched for health related information and another 57% used our phones for online banking. 44% used mobile devices for real estate searching, and 43% used them for job hunting, according to Pew.
We also used our phones to buy stuff. A lot of stuff. According to Adobe, mobile generated $0.37 of every dollar in 2015. Adobe and IBM both reported that mobile shopping traffic (57%) exceeded desktop shopping traffic on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday in 2015. And oh were those mobile visitors buying. Atlas by Facebook reports that mobile was responsible for 50% of transactions for the holiday weekend.
We Were Antisocial
If you’ve had to ride an elevator recently, it should also come as no surprise that Millenials and Gen Xers alike fess up to using their phones as distractions. According to Pew, 93% of millennials reported using their mobile phones out of boredom at least once a week. 47% reported using their phones to avoid human interaction. Gen Xers were close behind at 82% and 32%.
It’s clear that mobile has been inextricably woven into our everyday lives. The way we get information. The way we make purchases. Even the way we interact (or don’t interact) with the world around us.
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