The mobile revolution has been swift. Today, one in four site visits originates from a mobile device, an 84 percent increase since last year. For the 100 prestige brands we analyzed in our recently released Intelligence Report: Mobile, the transition has been a little slower: just 23 percent of search queries for these brands start from a smartphone and/or tablet. Beyond retail, mobile has permeated the social media space as well. Facebook users now average 50 more minutes per month (441 versus 391) on the platform’s mobile site and app than on its desktop site. One-third of internet users are now on Twitter, and half of them access the microblog regularly via a mobile device. Since its acquisition by Facebook last April, Instagram has seen its daily mobile usage increase by more than 700 percent. Overall, 40 percent of all social media activity is now conducted on a mobile device. Whether it’s to buy or to share, users in the U.S. and around the world are increasingly making mobile their primary way of life.
Although new research suggests that the sale of smartphones actually declined last year, there is no question about tablets, in particular the iPad, and how quickly people of all age groups have integrated them into their daily lives. One-quarter of all adults in this country now own a tablet. And globally, tablet shipments are expected to exceed laptop shipments for the first time later this year. In just two years, consumer conversions on a tablet are projected to make up more than half of all non-PC sales. The pace at which mobile has gone from niche to mainstream has been lightning fast. And it’s only gaining. Unfortunately, prestige brands, as a collective, are often late to the digital game, and such is the case with tablets–with just 18 percent of these brands’ sites currently optimized for a tablet experience and only 10 percent having launched a tablet-specific site.
More troubling than these low numbers is the comparison to last year’s. In all three categories depicted in the infographic above (click for greater detail), the number of prestige brands with an optimized tablet experience either increased marginally or declined.