Mobile Responsiveness Trends And Statistics

Smartphone ownership as percentage of population is at an all-time high in the United States. This figure is likely to go further up from 64.05% in 2016 to 68.4% in 2017 and then further to 78.75% by 2021. This has in turn given rise to the app economy along with a higher level of internet consumption from the mobile web.

Mobile responsiveness is a contentious topic with respect to the mobile web. It essentially refers to a website that can render as well on a mobile phone as it does on a desktop computer. Since April 2015, Google has rolled out a few updates to their search algorithm that provided websites with mobile friendly design an additional boost in their rankings. They have also been penalizing websites with non-mobile friendly interfaces and this has rankled quite a few businesses. In this article, we will take a look at some statistics regarding mobile responsiveness and how the internet landscape has been maturing to this new reality.

Consumers Like Mobile-Friendly Sites

In 2012, Google conducted a survey of nearly 1088 smartphone users in the United States to understand mobile behavior and according to this study, 72% of mobile users felt it was important for websites to be mobile-friendly. Further, 74% of the respondents said they were more likely to return to a site in future, if it worked well on a mobile phone. There are other interesting insights from the study – 67% of the respondents said they were more likely to buy a product or service if the site was mobile-friendly. To a question about user experience, 61% of consumers revealed that they were likely to move to another site if they could not find what they were looking for on their mobile site.

Responsiveness Is Not The Only Way To Mobile Web

With responsive design, your website automatically adjusts and aligns to fit the display resolution of your viewing device; desktop or mobile. But responsiveness is not the only way to build a mobile-friendly website. The other ways to do this are by having separate websites for the mobile and desktop user or by dynamically serving different content based on the device requesting content. In a survey, that is admittedly non-scientific, it was found that nearly 82% of webmasters preferred responsive design as a way to build a mobile-friendly website. In contrast, 4% of participants preferred dynamic serving while 6% of participants preferred having separate URLs for mobile and desktop users.

Percentage Of Businesses With Responsive Websites

Back in 2014, a study conducted by BaseKit found that an overwhelming 91% of small business websites were not optimized for the mobile user. In 2015, two months after Google first announced an update to provide a boost to mobile-friendly websites, the company noted that this helped increase the number of mobile-friendly websites by 4.7%. Most recently, Clutch published a small business survey that found that nearly half of the small businesses they surveyed did not have a website. Among those that did, 23% owned sites that were not mobile friendly. Another nine percent of websites had unknown mobile capabilities. Regardless of what the digital marketing gurus are advocating, it is clear that mobile responsiveness as a customer experience strategy is still not actively pursued by a vast majority of business owners.

Exhaustive studies that look into the adoption of responsive web design standards are still hard to come by four years after Mashable wrote an article declaring 2013 as the year of responsive web design. As Google continues to push through mobile-friendly website formats, we will see a larger transformation into responsive design over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how the stats evolve over time in this regard.

Mobile Coupons Statistics

Mobile coupons are still only a small percentage of the entire coupon segment yet they are among the most popular. According to a recent study by Borrel Associates, Mobile coupons have a much higher redemption rates than those from newspapers or mail – as much as 10x times.

After a pretty flat growth during 2007 and 2008, the mobile coupons market has been growing blazingly fast since then and is expected to continue the trend for more years to come.

Here is the projected total spending from mobile coupons as studied by Borrell Associates

2006 : $3.3 million
2007 : $7.2 million
2008 : $7.15 million
2009 : $86.4 million
2010 : $373.7 million
2011 : $1055.3 million
2012 : $2242.4 million
2013 : $4101.6 million
2014 : $6598.5 million

Internet Enabled Mobile Phone Ownership

Merkle Inc. has published a recent study on mobile web adoption and usage. According to this study, close to half of the mobile subscribers today own an internet enabled mobile phone. Of these, at least 40% of the users access the web via their mobile phone at least once in a day.

Here is the percent of mobile subscribers who own an internet enabled phone in the various age groups.

18 – 29 : 53%
30 – 39 : 59%
40 – 49 : 53%
50 – 64 : 44%
65+ : 30%

US Mobile Internet Traffic : Smartphone vs. Feature Phone

This year, there will be an average data traffic of 8 petabytes on a monthly basis over mobile phones in the US. Of this, close to 79% is expected to happen via smartphones. According to a recent study conducted by UK firm Coda Research Consultancy, the mobile internet traffic from smartphones is expected to surge so high over the next few years that by 2015, nearly 98% of mobile web traffic is expected to come from smartphones. In this time period, the number of mobile internet users is expected to rise from 84 million to 158 million.

Here is the share of mobile internet traffic from smartphones as compared to feature phones.


Worldwide Smartphone OS Market Share – February 2010

AdMob’s monthly metrics report claims that website traffic from smartphones has increased 193% over the past one year. On a comparative scale, traffic from feature phones in down. Among the smartphones, the iPhone alone contributes to nearly 50% of the traffic.

Here are the smartphone OS traffic share for the month of Feb 2010

iPhone OS : 50%
Android : 24%
Symbian : 18%
RIM OS : 4%
Windows Mobile OS : 2%

Mobile Broadband In USA

Mobile internet has been growing pretty fast and some networks are already onto 4G technology. A big chunk of growth has undoubtedly been in the US which is now home to the largest number of 3G subscribers in the world.

Here are some interesting statistics

Number of 3G subscribers in USA : 117 million (18% of world)
33% of customers worldwide with the fastest 3G networks are from US
1 out of 5 new 3G subscribers being added are from US
USA has the most number of wireless hotspots : 70,000 – more than twice as much as the next country

Mobile Internet Usage In Europe

There are close to 418 million internet users in Europe – a number that has grown 298% over the past decade. While the internet usage via mobile phones have been steadily increasing, there is also a conspicuous observation that the potential is far higher than what the reality suggests. Here are a few stats on the usage of mobile internet in Europe

Average number of mobile internet users : 71 million per week
Average time spent on accessing internet via mobile : 6.4 hours per week

However, 47% of the respondents were unaware that their mobile handset could be used to access internet.

Mobile Banking Users :Worldwide Distribution

According to a study by Conrad Lisco of the R/GA group, there will be close to 150 million mobile users worldwide who shall access banking services from their mobile device. So, where are these users coming from? Here is a tentative breakup based on their location

East Asia (China, Japan, Korea,etc.) : 41%
West Europe (UK, France, Italy,etc.) : 22%
North America : 12%
Africa, Middle East, West Asia : 8%
South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) : 7%
Australiasia : 5%
East Europe : 3%
South America : 2%

UK Mobile Internet Traffic Share Among Carriers

Mobile internet users in United Kingdom have been growing at a rate of 19.3% YoY and in terms of pageviews, there has been a 50.1% growth. So who are the carriers enjoying this increasing growth? Here is the market share among network operators in UK in terms of data usage.

O2 : 32%
Orange : 21%
Vodafone : 20%
Three : 11%
T-Mobile : 9%

With the Orange and T-Mobile merger been approved by the European Commission, here is how the new scenario will look like

O2 : 32%
T-Orange : 30%
Vodafone : 20%
Three : 11%

Average Page Views Per User On Mobile Web

In its latestState of the Mobile Web‘ report, Opera offers an insight into the average pageviews viewed by mobile web users across different users. While the numbers are interesting, you need to discount the fact that Opera is not available on iPhone as yet, and so the numbers may not reveal the complete picture in high iPhone density areas like USA.

China : 257
India : 344
Indonesia : 685
Iran : 176
Iraq : 112
Israel : 272
Jordan : 382
Kuwait : 171
Lebanon : 557
Nigeria : 402
Oman : 224
Russia : 429
Saudi Arabia : 418
South Africa : 358
Syria : 207
UAE : 80
Ukraine : 741
United Kingdom : 285
United States : 295
Vietnam : 206

Interesting that the number of pageviews per user is less in USA and UK compared to many other countries.