An announcement by the UK communications watchdog Ofcom today confirmed that smart phones are now the main device for connecting online, overtaking laptops.
The smartphone is the device of choice for 33% of British tech users in 2015, overtaking laptops at 30%. This is a major change from 2014, when 40% of surfers preferred their laptop, as opposed to 22% preferring their phone.
The report also contained some surprising figures on smart phone use, shopping habits, and selfies...
SMARTPHONES: SMILE PLEASE!
The Ofcom Communications Market Report* points to the rise in the quality of phone cameras as a driving force behind smart phone use, with one in 10 Brits using their mobile phone to take at least one selfie (self portrait) a week. In 2014, an astounding 89% of 16-24 year olds used their phone for taking images.
Other key stats in the report include:
- 66% of UK residents now own a smartphone (up from 39% in 2012).
- 61% of adults say they access the internet via their phone, rising to 89% in the 16-24 age group.
- UK adults spend almost 2 hours every day browsing the internet on their phone.
- 23.6 million people are now connected to the fast 4G network, up from just 2.7 million last year.
- Half of these people had used 4G to shop online (that's almost 12 million people).
- More people used their phones for banking, instant messaging and watching video clips in 2014 than ever before.
- Despite 50% of UK households owning a tablet device, these are generally used at home, not out and about. This is probably because 80% of UK adults aged 16 and over have broadband access at home.
- Women are more likely to use social media sites than men.
CANADIAN SMARTPHONES ON THE RISE
The picture in Canada is remarkably similar. According to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association**
- Over 99% of Canadians can access to a wireless phone network (UK is 98%).
- Almost 25 million Canadians have a current cell phone subscription.
- 73% of cellphones are smartphones.
- One in five Canadian households use only a cell phone (no landline).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY BUSINESS?
The main message is clear: if your website is not mobile-friendly, you are missing out on a massive potential customer base for your services.
What's more, if you are selling goods or products online, you're are also missing out on sales if your e-commerce site is not accessible on a smart phone.
Since your mobile customers base take lots of photos themselves, they probably expect you to do so as well. So, your social media posts need to have images attached, and images take with your phone will be fine.
Customers in areas with high speed wifi connections will be viewing videos on their phone too, so your business needs to feed that need with short, sharable videos hosted at YouTube and embedded in your website.
IS YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE FRIENDLY?
Got a smart phone in your pocket or a tablet on your desk? Check out your website now. You'll probably be surprised how it looks if you're used to the desktop version. If the text is too small, the pictures tiny, the navigation buttons fiddly or the whole site just looks cluttered, it's time to upgrade your site to responsive design.
Responsive web design is just that; responsive. When your customers type in your website address in their phone, a responsive website detects they are browsing on a mobile device, and show them a special version of the website. It's still the same information, but reformatted to fit the viewer's device to perfection, whether a smart phone, tablet or even a wearable, like an iWatch.
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN BY AKIRA STUDIO
At Akira, we can open up your business to thousands more potential customers simply by upgrading your website to a responsive design. Call us to discuss your requirements, or take a look at our responsive design page on our website.
And yes, it'll work on your mobile device!