Ofcom’s 2012 Communications Market Report has revealed that the UK’s mobile revolution is continuing apace, with the number of Brits using smartphones, tablets and mobile apps increasing dramatically since last year.
Smartphone penetration increases
According to Ofcom’s report almost 40% of UK adults owned a smartphone in January 2012, compared to 28% in 2010. Of those individuals, 42% say their smartphones are now the most important device for accessing the internet, with that same percentage using social networking sites and 51% using email on their phones.
Ofcom’s UK research mirrors the wider consumer tech market, which this year saw smartphone sales overtaking PC sales for the first time. According to the report, smartphone owners are using their PCs less for a range of activities. Over half of smartphone owners (51%) watch video clips more frequently on their phone than their PC – and mobile data consumption has doubled in the 18 months to January 2012.
Shopping goes mobile
As we’ve been saying on this blog, more UK shoppers are using smartphones while on the high-street. “Smartphones are changing people’s shopping habits,” says Ofcom, with over half of smartphone owners using their phones to help make buying decisions.
•25% of UK smartphone owners make online price comparisons on their phones while shopping.
•31% take photos of products while shopping
•21% scan barcodes and QR codes to get more product information
•19% read product reviews on their smartphone while shopping
•19% research product features while shopping
Tablets on the rise
Tablet adoption has also increased massively since last year, from 2% to 11% of UK households. Thirty seven per cent of tablet owners say they browse the internet more since buying a tablet device and, rather worryingly, a third of tablet owners say they “could not live without their device”. Tablet ownership is set to grow according to Ofcom’s report, with 17% of households saying they intend to buy a tablet this year.
Wake up and smell the mobile
Ofcom’s research should be a serious wake-up call for any UK business or brand who hasn’t thought about its mobile strategy. The stats on shopping habits should be reason enough to any business that sells products on the high-street to ensure they have a mobile presence and can inform customers about their product, whether that’s via a mobile-optimised website, or promotional app.
The strong shift from desktop web-surfing to mobile web-surfing means that every business with a website needs to ensure that customers have the same quality of experience on mobile. Beyond that, the smartphone revolution also presents an amazing opportunity for brands to reach out to new customers in new and exciting ways. Why not get in touch with our mobile experts today and find out how we can help you develop and effective mobile strategy?