At the beginning of the year, digital traffic on mobile devices was sitting at about 5%. This was a small but important segment – but very few websites were optimised for mobile devices. And those that were offered slimmed down functionality. Even Facebook was slow to deliver on a mobile experience.
But through the year, mobile web usage continued to grow. Even on the ServantofChaos.com blog, we are seeing about 25% of our traffic coming via mobile devices (almost exclusively iPhone and iPad). These statistics appear to be consistent for other websites and represents a significant challenge for brands who continue to struggle with managing their digital presence. Indeed, Cisco’s Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2011-2016 indicates that Australian mobile data traffic will almost double in 2013. And by way of comparison, look at the rates for fixed IP traffic (ie non-mobile).
Respond now to the challenge of digital engagement
How do we respond to the challenges of digital content? While this rapid change in web behaviour and usage has taken many by surprise, we do not need to navigate these changes on our own. My recent report on digital disruption outlines some of the trends and the lessons that we can take away from the burgeoning digital and mobile revolution that has already taken place in Asia Pacific. This disruption is two-fold:
- Businesses must embrace and engage with their connected consumers via social channels. A significant proportion of mobile traffic is generated via social media. From “checkins” to product reviews, price validation or even basic product research, connected consumers are transforming the customer relationship. To understand this transformation, brands must understand the 5 Ds of Consumer Engagement.
- Rather than thinking “mobile first”, businesses need to think “mobile only”. The shift to mobile is a mega trend that is linked not to business per se, but to patterns of human behaviour. Our patterns of consumption are shifting from a single, stationary device like a desktop PC, to a second or third screen device that is always on, always connected. Business leaders must begin this transformation now or open the door to more agile competitors.
Lessons for the small business and independents
In many ways, a blog operates like a small, independent business. It has its own audiences – its own focus and a charter of engagement. When I moved ServantofChaos.com to a new design and platform, a key part of the decision making process was to address the trends that I was seeing. And while continuing analytics information combined with the trends and statistics reported reinforce this decision, I’m interested in individual points of view.
What do YOU think?
Are you a mobile device user?
Have you considered mobile as part of your digital strategy? If not, why?