In a recent Mediaweek article, Mike Shields talks about how mobile Web usage is growing exponentially.
In his piece, he quotes recent research: "According to a new report issued by Nielsen, there were 56.9 million mobile Web users in July of this year. That represents a healthy 34 percent spike in audience versus the 42.5 million mobile Web visitors tracked last year." What I found most interesting about this news were the findings on the demographics. For example, while Nielsen recorded a 45 percent surge in usage among teens 13-17, there was a 67 percent spike among older individuals (65+).
Mike also mentioned that "...women are increasingly using mobile devices to surf the Web. According to Nielsen, in July the female audience soared by 43 percent, versus a 26 percent growth spike seen among men."
Am I surprised by this mobile surge in older Americans and women? Not at all. Gone are the days of smartphone usage being dominated by traveling businessmen and women. More affordable phones and the widespread availability of consumer-focused and lifestyle applications have bred adoption among all age groups and even stay-at-home moms. Many consumers (women and older Americans included) are now using their phones to access news and personal financial information, organize shopping lists, lookup local maps, and get the latest coupons from their favorite retailers.
Women are often cited as the decision maker when it comes to purchases for the home, and many older Americans who are retired live on a fixed budget. Both of these demos are continually on the lookout for offers that will help them curb spending and save money on day-to-day purchases. The mobile Web has become a go-to tool for research, mobile coupons and access to great deals on-the-go. My inclination is that we will only see the number of people using their devices in this manner only rise. We are a "I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now" society and the mobile Web is perfectly poised to help fulfill this desire.
Let me know what you think; I'd love to hear from you. Chris Brassington CEO at Starfish Consultants