What 2014 will bring, part one: mobile

2013 brought us more breakneck rates of smartphone and tablet adoption — and marketers didn’t fail to notice. US mobile-ad spending doubled, reaching almost $9.6 billion, as more and more traffic moved from the desktop to the mobile web and apps. And it was a big year for social on mobile, with the biggest social platforms — including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram — expanding their mobile offerings and revenue streams. Here are a few facts about mobile usage in 2013, to put this growth into perspective:

  • In 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage.
  • Smartphones and tablets have driven a 93% increase in internet use since 2010, according to comScore.
  • By the end of 2013, there were more mobile devices on earth than people.
  • 56% of US adults own a smartphone.
  • 91% of adults “have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7.”
  • In Q2 of 2013, 62% of emails were opened on a mobile device. (48% of emails were opened on a smartphone, and 14% of emails were opened on a tablet.)
  • Mobile accounted for 48% of all online traffic this past holiday season, a 28.3% increase over last year.
  • In 2013, mobile sales approached 29% of all online sales, up 40% over 2012.
  • 91% of mobile internet access is for social activities, versus just 79% on desktop.
  • 53% of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day.
  • 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.
  • 71% of tablet owners make purchases from their tablets each week.

There’s no doubt that smartphones have transformed our daily lives. We’re living in an always-on, always-connected world, and mobile has changed the way we interact with each other — and with brands. Our experiences can be shared anywhere, at any time. Consumer content, including brand experiences and recommendations, is shared and engaged more frequently than ever. Consumers routinely use mobile to provide brands with real-time feedback and to search for on-the-spot consumer recommendations and reviews when making purchase decisions.

With the growth of mobile, consumer advocacy has become more immediate and impactful than ever. Leveraging mobile allows brands to engage with consumers in real time, and increases the opportunities for advocates to share branded content and recommendations.

For example, with a House Party campaign, passionate advocates connect with brands in their homes, with their friends. These in-person experiences are captured in photos, videos and conversations, and immediately shared through social networks; the immediacy that mobile devices offer vastly increases both the volume and relevance of these authentic earned media impressions.

With the growth of mobile expected to climb well into 2015, it’s important to provide consumers with the right tools — especially mobile apps and mobile-optimized sites — to create a seamless user experience across devices. At House Party, we’re excited to be launching our first mobile app in 2014. The app will let users manage their parties and share content anywhere, anytime, augmenting the physical, in-home parties with another robust digital layer. Our goal is always to connect consumers with their favorite brands in ways that feel authentic and natural; as comfort with mobile activity grows exponentially, it only makes sense that the House Party experience would go mobile, too. So keep an eye here on the blog for an official launch announcement soon. And check back next week, when our SVP of Research & Analytics will be discussing the state of data and measurement in 2014.

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