2015 - The Year of Mobile?


We’ve been hearing the phrase for a few years now, but so far mobile hasn’t really exploded in the way we’ve all been expecting. Sure, usage is gradually going up but SMEs have mostly continued to ignore it in terms of dedicated campaigns, instead simply opting to ensure mobile UX is present and correct. A couple of months ago though, Google started to show ‘mobile-friendly’ tags in SERP snippets - so I figured now was a good time to really delve into mobile usage stats and get a better picture of what’s happening.

mobile-friendly tag in Google SERPs

My first port of call was Google Analytics, but trying to understand the mobile landscape from dipping in and out of client profiles was proving fruitless to say the least; mobile visits ranged anywhere from <5% to in excess of 50%. This was going to require some aggregation.

Luckily, our digital marketing dashboard, intalyse, has hundreds of GA profiles attached and it was a trivial task to write some custom code to pull desktop, mobile and tablet visits for the last 24 months. I decided to grab a completely random selection of 100 GA profiles - all of various sizes and with no particular industry skew.

ga:deviceCategory split 2013-2014

It’s pretty easy to see the increase in mobile & tablet usage over the last 2 years - which is fairly impressive growth considering smart phones have been around for some time now (the original iPhone is coming up to 8 years old for example). But given this information, and seeing the clear upward trends, how long until we see desktop usage kicked from its #1 perch?

Mobile trend forecast

mobile usage forecast

That crossover happens around October/November 2016, less than two years from now. This is an insanely small time-frame in the grand scheme of the web (especially considering big companies move incredibly slowly). In essence, you have less than two years to ensure all sites and strategies are truly mobile first, desktop second.

But aren’t tablets mobile?

Ok, so what if we consider mobile & tablet as a single group? (ignore the obvious grey area for a moment and roll with me here). How long do we have before this most epic pairing combined take over the desktop dinosaur?

Mobile+tablet vs desktop forecast

If we continue on the current trend, the crossover happens somewhere around Dec 2015 / Jan 2016. Yep, within the next 12 months.

2015 really could be the year of mobile!

There’s a tonne of directions this research could go, so I plan to dig into the data further over the coming weeks, but for now I’ll leave it there. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


One thought on “2015 - The Year of Mobile?

  1. Well it has been a long time coming - the Google snippets are a hint, lets hope it is a more serious route to change than https was….

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