The New Mobile-Only User: Why Marketers Should Be Taking Note

We are all accustomed to the idea that Web users access information, social media, and commerce through a variety of platforms and gadgets, but there is a growing shift in culture & society which has given rise to what is now known as the “mobile-only user”.

These individuals are those which only use phones or tablets for their common online activities and it’s becoming very apparent that this shift is becoming a force in the market.

The “Selective Mobile-Only” user (as covered in eMarketer) reveals to us a fracture in our understanding of those accessing online information through mobile devices. These individuals are generally lumped into a group based on economical restraints (such as limited access to broadband).

The reality is that these individuals are increasingly becoming influential because they choose their activities based on their use of mobile devices. With it comes a monumental shift in Web traffic.

For example – the top five sites have seen these percentages of mobile increase:

  • Google Sites – 16%
  • Yahoo! Sites – 13%
  • Microsoft sites – 6%
  • Facebook – 20%
  • Amazon sites – 27%

A full summary from eMarketer’s report can be seen here:

From the same report:

“Research tells us there really are people who only shop on mobile,” said Johnna Marcus, director of mobile and digital store marketing at Sephora. “We have data showing 31% of those with mobile internet are using it exclusively—it’s their only connection. We’re not just thinking of mobile as an augment, but really building things out to be mobile-first and be mobile-primary.”

The numbers tell a hard truth about the future of online business.

It reveals that a business can no longer side-step the adoption of mobile-friendly campaigns and development. Businesses must be willing to entertain the idea of developing apps specific to these selective mobile-only users (SMO’s). Other elements of business from email to customer service, too, needs to embrace mobile flexibility.

The next generation of Web users have already made their decision … and it’s looking to be one which is dominated by mobile devices. It is this reason why marketers should take notice.

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