Mobile statistics: Building a case for your mobile site & app

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  • ebay sell 1 item every 2 seconds via mobile
  • In 2014 there will be 300m mobile coupon users
  • 7.1 million Brits now access the internet through their mobile

(If you’re just here for the mobile stats, scroll down, I won’t be offended)

In my recent ‘60 second mobile review’ post, I explained a very simple health check for your business to determine whether you should be building a Mobile offering. Even though you may feel your company or industry is not ready, your Analytics may prove otherwise. A quick check will illustrate just how popular your website already is with mobile users.

If you’ve tried accessing your website on a mobile phone, you may have already realised that those visitors might not exactly be getting a premium customer experience. You may already be deliberating which is better for your business – a mobile site or smart phone apps.

However, to get your mobile site or app built you’re going to need to present a business case. You can pull together your supporting evidence – including existing mobile statistics – from both internal and external sources.

Three of which include:

  • Existing site analytics data – use this to illustrate how your audience already wants to access your service via a mobile device. It could also highlight the need for a mobile-specific interface, if the mobile stats don’t paint a pretty customer experience
  • External data / case studies – sometimes the biggest impetus to getting something signed off comes from showing the successes of others. The whole ‘its working really well for them, so it should be okay for us to do it too’ thing. It’s about confidence – if you can show how its worked for others it makes it easier to feel comfortable with any associated risk
  • Survey customers / prospects – sometimes the easiest way to get an answer is just to ask the question. Just be careful how you ask the question though. Asking ‘Do you think we should have a mobile site and iPhone app?’ will probably get you plenty of ‘Sure’ answers but won’t be very enlightening. You’ll be better off trying to understand their behaviours and needs via your questions and their answers.

The important thing to remember with the business case is to be clear why you need a mobile site or app. Just having one isn’t enough. Why should your company foot the development bill? What is the return on investment?

If it’s going to be a mCommerce site and generate revenue (selling products / services / access) then justify it with a financial forecast to offset the development costs.

However, it doesn’t need to be revenue generating to justify development. Adding value to the customer experience could be your reason – my favourite example is the Sky+ App that enables you to record your favourite TV programmers remotely. Sky doesn’t make direct revenue by charging for the App but it does contribute to the loyalty and retention of their customer base.

The final reason is innovation, or experimentation. This may seem a little fluffy, but for many it is justification enough to have observed the behaviours and trends and to want to experiment with a new product or service to see how customers respond. You may hit on something and grab market share with first mover advantage. Just be wary of the development costs with this approach, in case you have a few misses.

Mobile Statistics that may help your business case (or just interest you)

The majority of the following mobile stats came from Google’s recent Think Mobile seminar at the Royal Opera House in London. Others have come from a variety of sources. I have credited the original source where known, otherwise apologies, let me know and I’ll update.

  • 2 million iPads were sold in the first 59 days after release (that is one iPad sold every 3rd second (Apple, 2010)
  • Mobile advertising is expected to grow to £355m in Britain by 2014 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2010)
  • 24% of mobile users have a smart phone
  • Today’s mobile phone would have cost £1 billion to build in the 1970s and would have been the size of a house
  • In 2014 there will be 300m mobile coupon users
  • 50% of mobile users start their activity with a search
  • 90% of all apps are deleted in 30 days (so make it a good one with real value!)
  • 25% of Android searches are made using Voice search technology (Google, 2010)
  • 48% of US smart phone users have used a mobile browser
  • Mobile search is growing as fast as mobile apps (
  • ebay sell 1 item every 2 seconds via mobile
  • 10% of all PaddyPower sales come via mobile
  • 1 billion mobile phones were bought in the first 14 years – 1 billion mobiles sold in the last 12 months
  • 11.5% of all UK shoppers use their mobiles to research before they shop (ITPro.co.uk)
  • 48% of social media users check Facebook / Twitter after they go to bed. 7% said they’d even check during an ‘intimate moment’ (SF Gate, 2010)
  • In the UK, 81% of mobile media users access mobile media more than once a week with 46% using it daily (MobiAd News, 2010)
  • 7.1 million Brits now access the internet through their mobile phones (Internet Monitor Survey, 2010)
  • Each month in the UK, 4.2 million consumers visit retailers’ websites using the mobile internet (GSMA & Comscore, 2010)
  • Despite the recession, over the last year m-commerce has accounted for nearly £123million worth of goods sold in the UK and this is predicted to double by 2013 to £275million (eBay & Mobile Marketing Association, 2010)
  • iPad applications have downloaded over 35 million times (Apple, 2010)
  • More than 1 in 10 mobile users will download or buy mobile tickets in the next four years (Juniper Research, 2010)
  • There are more than 150 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices (Facebook, 2010)
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile device are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users (Facebook, 2010

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Gary Robinson is a UK digital marketer, who fell into this tech world by accident and decided to stay and play. That was 1999. He's still here. His current loves are conversion optimisation, mobile and tinkering with new technology. He also has a fondness for coffee.

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