Mobile's Getting So Big That No Business Can Ignore It


This is the fourth of an eight-part “The Mobile Experience Effect” series, which examines how small business owners can achieve more by using the latest in mobile technology. “The Mobile Experience Effect” is sponsored by Capital One SparkBusinesses get an array of conflicting information about the shift to mobile, with some arguing that it’s only just begun, and with others saying it’s overhyped and difficult to monetise.

But what does the data say? We’ve pulled charts from our Business Insider Intelligence research service that break the mobile landscape down. 

The future is definitely mobile. Sales of smartphones and tablets continue to grow rapidly, while PC sales stall:

Global Internet Device Shipments

Photo: Business Insider Intelligence

The number of mobile internet connections already outstrips fixed ones, and by 2015, will be more than double them.

Photo: Business Insider Intelligence

The shift, and the massive size of the shift, is well documented. The next step is figuring out how important that shift is for business. There is a great deal of catching up to do, especially when it comes to advertising. Mobile advertising is still a fraction of overall digital spending. 

Digital Ad Spending

Photo: Business Insider Intelligence

But it’s projected to grow massively in the future.

Mobile Ad Growth

Photo: Business Insider Intelligence

So businesses that don’t have a mobile advertising strategy need to think of one. It’s not as simple as moving display ads over either. The screens are smaller, so it takes more work to get eyes on an ad or to make an impression. And advertising’s only one part of the shift that businesses need to account for. Brick and mortar businesses, for example, have to react to the fact that people use their mobile devices in-store. That means knowing where people go for reviews, and being aware of the social component of shopping.

Pew In Store

Photo: Business Insider Intelligence

And nearly every business will have to account for the fact that their employees want to be, or already are, working from mobile devices.

The data clearly shows rising rates of adoption, and rising rates of use. Checking a smartphone has become a reflex for people making decisions. Understanding what resources people access through mobile devices, and using that knowledge to their advantage, is going to be an essential part of business strategy. 

As virtual assistants like Siri get better and devices like Google Glass hit the market, using mobile devices will be even more automatic than they already are. 

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