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Since December 2010, US smartphone engagement has increased three-fold from 131bn total minutes spent on the device per month to 442bn by December 2013.
Although tablets were very much in their infancy in 2010, they too have seen a mighty increase over the same period, a 10-fold growth to 124bn minutes per month.
These figures come from comScore’s latest report on the future of digital in the US.
It states that smartphones alone have surpassed desktop usage in 2013, with 429bn minutes now spent on the previously dominant screen.
Here’s a look at the current state of a multi-platform USA.
As of December 2013, 56% of US consumers are considered multi-platform users. This is the first time that consumers who use both desktop and mobile devices in their daily lives form the majority in the total population of digital users.
In fact the shift to multiplatform as a majority occurred over the space of only one month between March and April 2013.
This figure given by comScore is one of the highest we’ve seen so far for multichannel usage. Facebook in collaboration with GfK recently revealed its own data suggesting that more than 40% of online adults are multi-device users.
Although in the UK, the same Facebook study suggests we’re further ahead than the rest of the world:
- More than 60% of online adults use at least two devices every day and nearly 25% use three devices.
- 40% of all online adults start an activity on one device and finish it on another.
Clearly this has massive implications for the multi-platform marketer. It is an absolute necessity for all brands, companies and retailers to keep the online journey as fluid and consistent as possible for customers.
If a user is browsing and adding to a cart on a smartphone, they should expect that same history and half-filled shopping basket to be carried across to the desktop site, and vice versa. It's the only way to guarantee customer satisfaction, aid conversion and encourage return visits.
The comScore research also suggests that smartphones and tablets are responsible for almost doubling the amount of time US consumers spend online.
Desktop usage has stayed relatively constant over the last few years, with a slight rise in 2013. Mobile devices haven’t eaten into this desktop time as you may expect. Instead mobile devices have given consumers the opportunity to be online throughout the entire day.
For more on multi-device usage from the blog, check out David Moth’s report on how lack of tracking and common metrics are seen as the main barriers to multiscreen ad campaigns.
The comScore research is available here: US Digital Future in Focus.