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78 Essential Mobile Marketing Statistics for 2021: The Most Up-to-Date Numbers Available Now 

 September 6, 2021

Are you prepared to leverage the power of mobile in your digital marketing strategy?

Half of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices and 67% of the world’s population use mobile phones.

These up-to-date mobile marketing statistics tell the story of mobile’s reach from 2021 and beyond.

How strong is your brand experience on mobile? It better be good - and here's why!

Mobile Marketing Statistics

Mobile Marketing Contributes $4.1 Trillion to World GDP... Up to $4.9 Trillion in 2024

Mobile Industry Contribution to GDP

Mobile device users and mobile advertising contributed $4.1 trillion to GDP in 2019. It's predicted to go up to $4.9 trillion by 2024. (GSMA, data analysis, 2020)

2021 Mobile Market Penetration:
How many people use mobile phones?

  • 3.8 billion people are mobile internet users and there are 5.2 billion unique subscriptions to mobile services. (GSMA, data analysis, 2020)
  • 95% of US adults and 93% of European adults own a mobile phone. 81% of US adults’ devices are smartphones. (Pew Research Center, survey, 2020)
  • 67% of adults in India own a mobile phone, 32% own a smartphone. These ownership levels are among the lowest in the world.  (Pew Research Center, survey, 2020)
  • There are 8 billion non-IoT mobile device connections worldwide, outstripping the world’s population by 3%. 65% of these mobile connections are for smartphones. (GSMA, data analysis, 2020)

Mobile use, particularly for video applications, has increased steadily in recent years. As people turned to their device to work, connect, and fight cabin fever in Q1 of 2020, data use and time spent on mobile increased.

Mobile Usage is Going Up

The following stats show how many more people are using their phones and tablets for daily tasks like shopping and online research. It's important to understand them for your mobile marketing strategy!

Global Mobile Data Usage
  • Global mobile data usage will grow almost fourfold by 2025, spurred by increased smartphone adoption and availablity of affordable high-speed network services. (GSMA, data analysis, 2020)
  • Mobile data usage increased by 82% between 2017 and 2018 rising from 12.89 trillion MB to 28.58 MB. (CITA, survey, 2019)
  • In 2019, the average per-month mobile data usage worldwide was 7.5 GB. North American’s mobile data usage averaged 10 GB per month in 2019. (GSMA, data analysis, 2020)
  • Social networking represents more than 16% of upstream mobile data traffic and 12.74% of all mobile data traffic. (Sandvine, data analysis, 2020)
  • Smart phone users spent 2.4 trillion minutes speaking and sent 2 trillion text messages on mobile in 2019.  (CITA, survey, 2019)
  • Mobile phone users will spend an average of 4 hours and 18 minutes a day on their phones in 2020, an increase of 10% over 2019. (PubMatic citing research by eMarketer, forecast, 2020)

Mobile Versus Desktop: Traffic Share

  • In April of 2020, mobile’s share of total global internet traffic reached a new high of 53.81%, a year over year increase of 5.49 percentage points. Statcounter GlobalStats--April to April, data analysis, 2020)
  • 52% of US internet traffic in April of 2020 was attributable to smart phone users, down from December 2019’s record high of 54%. (Statcounter GlobalStats--April to April, data analysis, 2020)
  • Desktop’s share of global internet traffic rose slightly in May of 2020. In the U.S., desktop’s 48.52% share of internet traffic overtook mobile usage. (Statcounter GlobalStats--May to May, data analysis, 2020)
  • Mobile’s share of US internet traffic in May of 2020 at 46.42%, was 4.08 points higher than the same period in 2019. (Statcounter GlobalStats--May to May, data analysis, 2020)

Mobile Usage Statistics in the Home

  • Monthly in-home data usage by mobile phones and tablets increased 21% year over year in January of 2020. Use was 27% higher YoY in February, and 34% higher YoY in March. (Comscore--In-Home Data Usage, 2020)
  • 58% of consumers have searched for local businesses on their mobile phone or tablet while at home. (Brandify, survey 2019)

Mobile phone owners are just spending more time talking on their phones. They also use their phones to search for information, connect on social media, watch videos, play games and shop.

Mobile Devices and Online Search

  • 90.8% of US smartphone users search on their smartphones with either a mobile browser or app at least once per month. (eMarketer--US Smartphone Search, survey, 2019)
  • 96% of all organic mobile search visits in Q1 2020 originated from Google Search. (Merkle, data analysis, 2020)
  • Organic mobile search visits (phones and tablets) originating from Google declined 16% year over year in Q1 of 2020. (Merkle, data analysis, 2020)
  • 21% of organic mobile searches resulted in a site visit in Q1 of 2020 a 3 point decline from 2019 Q1 results. (Merkle, data analysis, 2020)

Ecommerce Traffic from Mobile Devices

Mobile Device Purchases
  • 61% of US internet users ages 18 to 34, and 51% of internet users across all age groups, used a mobile retail app on a phone or tablet to make at least one purchase in 2019. (eMarketer--Mcommerce Projections, survey, 2019)
  • 55% of all online visits to websites across 9 leading consumer verticals were from smartphones in 2019.  (Contentsquare, data analysis, 2020)
  • 67% of digital traffic to sites in the luxury vertical and 66% of traffic to sites in the apparel and beauty verticals were from mobile phones in 2019. (Contentsquare, data analysis, 2020)
  • Financial sites had the lowest volume of traffic (39%) from mobile phones in 2019. (Contentsquare, data analysis, 2020)

Consumer Spending via mCommerce, eCommerce, and Apps

  • 51% of all online transactions in North America and Europe and 58% of online transactions in Latin America and the Asia Pacific in Q4 of 2019 were purchases made via mobile web or app. (Comscore--Mobile Payments, data analysis, 2020)
  • Smartphones accounted for 36% of online revenue and 58% of traffic to retail sites during the 2019 holiday shopping season (November and December). (Adobe, data analysis, 2020)
  • In Q1 of 2020, 20% of all mobile spending was for groceries, including baby and pet supplies, a 148% year over year increase. (Comscore--Top Mobile Spend, data analysis, 2020)
  • 14.7% of all mobile spending in Q1 of 2020 ($7.5 billion) was for apparel and accessories. (Comscore--Top Mobile Spend, data analysis, 2020)

Marketing and Mobile Apps

  • Consumers worldwide spent $120 billion in app stores in 2019. (App Annie, data analysis, 2020)
  • There were 5.4 billion downloads of shopping apps in 2019 up 20% from 2018. (App Annie, data analysis, 2020)
  • Marketplace apps account for 73% of all time spent on ecommerce apps. (Adjust, data analysis, 2020)
  • Global app install ad spend was $57.8 billion in 2019. (AppsFlyer, data analysis, 2020)
  • Interstitial in-app ads cost 4.6 times more but had 18 times higher CTR than banner ads in 2019. (Smaato/Liftoff, data analysis, 2019)
  • In-app video ads deliver eCPMs 8.2x higher than display ads and CTR 7.5x higher. (Smaato/Liftoff, data analysis, 2019)
  • The cost per install for in-app video ads was an average of 40% higher than for display ads in 2019.
  • 74% of brands' spend on app ads via MoPub's exchange went to game publishers in 2019, up from 62% in 2018. (App Annie, data analysis, 2020)

We know that consumers spend time shopping on their phones. But are they willing to commit at the same rate as desktop shoppers? They weren’t in 2019 when average mobile conversion rates were 51% lower than desktop rates.

Factor this into your marketing plan for 2021 and beyond!

Mobile Vs Desktop: eCommerce Conversion Rates

  • In 2019, the average conversion rate for mobile visits across 9 core consumer commerce verticals was 1.72% while the average for desktop visits was 3.52%. (Contentsquare, data analysis, 2019)
  • Conversion rates for mobile phones and tablets were higher during the 2019 holiday shopping season than throughout the rest of the year. However, mobile’s ecommerce conversion rate of 2.25% was still 48% lower than desktop’s 4.32% rate.  (Contentsquare, data analysis, 2019)
  • Smartphone users started 33% more carts than desktop users, 8.8 vs 5.9 carts per visit, during the 2019 holiday shopping season. (Adobe, data analysis, 2020)
  • Smartphone users’ cart abandonment rate during the 2019 holiday shopping season was 50%. Desktop users’ abandonment rate was 33% during this same period. (Adobe, data analysis, 2020)
  • Mobile devices have an average bounce rate of 51% across 9 core consumer commerce verticals, compared to a bounce rate of 43% for desktop devices and 45% for tablet devices. (Contentsquare, data analysis, 2019)

Local shoppers use their devices at several different points in their buyers’ journey. But mobile users may not be as patient as their desktop counterparts when it comes to spending time on sites.

Local Shopping with Mobile Devices

  • 36% of local businesses’ website traffic came from mobile sources in 2019. (BrightLocal--Google Analytics for Local, data analysis, 2019)
  • 56% of consumers used mobile devices to view local reviews in 2019. (BrightLocal-- Local Consumer Reviews, survey, 2019)
  • 31% of consumers use mobile search for local businesses while they are driving or out and about. (Brandify, survey 2019)
  • 58% of website traffic for restaurants originated from mobile devices in 2019. (BrightLocal--Google Analytics for Local, data analysis, 2019)
  • Google Maps was the fourth most popular smartphone app with a reach of 63.6% in Q1 of 2019. (eMarketer citing Comscore Mobile Metrix, 2019)
  • Consumers across the UK, US, Canada, and Australia viewed 13% fewer pages per session when accessing local businesses’ websites via mobile devices when compared to the average across all devices. (BrightLocal--Google Analytics for Local, data analysis, 2019)
  • In the US, mobile users viewed 1.84 pages per session when visiting local business websites. US desktop users viewed an average of 2.11 pages per session. (BrightLocal--Google Analytics for Local, data analysis, 2019)
  • Mobile visits to local business websites have a bounce rate of 64% compared to 60.23% for desktop visits. (BrightLocal--Google Analytics for Local, data analysis, 2019)
  • 30% of consumers have used a mobile app to locate a product in a store and 17% have used their mobile device to purchase a product while in-store.  (Digital Commerce 360, survey, 2020)

When it comes to marketing messages consumers tend to prefer those that are asynchronous and value-adding. Push notifications were among consumers least favorite type of marketing communications. What do they want most from brands? Appointment reminders and alerts about suspicious banking activities.

How Brands are Reaching Consumers Through Mobile Experience

  • 44.3% of global email recipients opened emails on their mobile device in 2018, down 9% from 2017 rates. (Acoustic, data analysis, 2019)
  • 4% of consumers reported having 50 or more unread mobile messages. In comparison, 40% of consumers in the same study reported have 50 or more unread email messages. (Sinch, survey, 2020)
  • Consumers opened 4.9% of the mobile push notifications and 22.1% of the mobile app inbox messages they received in 2018. (Acoustic, data analysis, 2019)
  • 84% of mobile marketers used location data in 2019 and 94% planned to do so in 2019. (Factual, survey, 2019)
  • 81% of mobile marketers used mobile channels for location-based marketing in 2019. (Factual, survey, 2019)
  • U.S. companies spent $21.4 billion on location-targeted mobile advertising in 2018. (Factual, survey, 2019)

Consumer Sentiments about Mobile Advertising & Web Traffic

  • 58% of consumers say they receive too many push notifications. (Sinch, survey, 2020)
  • 60% of global consumers are willing (“likely” or “very likely”) to share their location data with a brand they know. 79% are willing to share their location data with a navigation or mapping service or app. (HERE, survey, 2019)
  • 94% of global mobile users say that they believe receiving banking alerts about possible fraudulent activities would be useful, but only 35% receive them from their financial service providers. (Sinch, survey, 2020)
  • 53% of global consumers have engaged in two-way messaging with a brand’s customer support using a mobile device. (Sinch, survey, 2020)
  • 40% of consumers around the world have used two-way messaging to initiate a purchase or to schedule a healthcare appointment. (Sinch, survey, 2020)
  • 23% of mobile phone users agreed that targeted ads were useful. (Ogury, survey, 2019)
  • 90% of mobile phone users, including 13% who said targeted ads were useful, said they were annoying. (Ogury, survey, 2019)
  • 54% of consumers ranked irrelevant marketing messages as the top annoyance with using their mobile device. (Ogury, survey, 2019)

Consumer Use of Mobile Wallets and Proximity Payment Systems

  • 91% of US Millennials, 80% of US Gen Xers, and 64% of US Baby Boomers made a mobile payment of some type (online, in-store, or in-app) in the twelve months ending August 2019. (McKinsey, survey, 2020)
  • 22.5% of North American mobile web transactions, 42.5% of Asian Pacific transactions, and 38.5% of European transactions which took place in Q4 of 2019 were completed using a mobile wallet. (Comscore--Global Mobile Payments, data analysis, 2020)
  • In 2019, Starbucks Pay was the second most used proximity payment system in terms of dollars spent with a 39.4% share of the market. Apple Pay held first place with 47.3% of the market. (eMarketer--Apple Pay, data analysis, 2019)
  • 36.3% of mobile phone users ages 14 and above worldwide made at least one proximity mobile payment transaction in 2019. (eMarketer--Mobile Payment Users, survey, 2019)

How are brands advertising on mobile and how much are they spending? Social media ads hold the lead. In Q1 2020, mobile ad spending and costs were down as brands adjust to the new normal of consumers having more time to spend but less money.

Mobile Advertising Spending and Performance

  • Top US CMOs plan to spend 13.5% of their total marketing budget on mobile in 2020. (CMO Survey, survey, 2020)
  • North American and UK marketers allocated 10.2% of their total budgets to mobile marketing in 2019. Only websites and digital commerce received greater allocations, 11.7% and 10.9%, respectively. (Gartner, survey, 2019)
  • US Mobile ad spending in 2019 totalled $87.3 billion. (eMarketer--Mobile Advertising Declines, data analysis, 2020)
  • 93.8% of total social media ad spending is attributable to mobile spending. (BIA, data analysis, 2019)
  • 40% of mobile ad spending was expected to be for native social ads in 2020. (BIA, data analysis + projection, 2019)
  • US marketers allocated an average of 25.6% of their mobile marketing budget to social ads,18.5% to user experience, 15.8% to display ads, and 12% to video in 2020. (CMO Survey, survey, 2020)
  • Mobile devices produced 96% of all clicks and earned 91% of all ad spend on Facebook in Q1 of 2020. (Merkle, data analysis, 2020)
  • Google Ads on mobile devices across all industries has an average click-through rate on the search network of 4.1% in 2019. The average display network CTR for a mobile device was .60%. (WordStream, data analysis, 2019)
  • The average CPC for Google Ads on mobile in 2019 was $2.67 for search and $0.60 for display. (WordStream, data analysis, 2019)
  • Mobile display ad spending fell 12% between January 1, 2020, and March 25, 2020. Mobile video ad spending fell 27% during that same period. (PubMatic, data analysis, 2020)

Mobile Marketing Stats: Conclusion

I hope you found my analysis of the latest mobile marketing statistics interesting!

I think it's obvious that users are more likely to purchase from companies with a solid mobile experience. Having mobile friendly website and even app is more important now than ever, and that's only going to be more true as time goes on.

If you have a poorly designed mobile site, your visitors are less likely to purchase from you and stick around. Not to mention, Google now uses indexes your mobile site first; if you want more website visits from search results, you better get on it!

Now I'd like to hear from you:

What's your #1 takeaway from today's research? How will that impact your mobile marketing strategy?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Next:
72 Digital Marketing Statistics You Need to Know (2020)
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Bill Widmer


Bill has a passion for teaching others how to build and grow their own online business. He's started and grown several sites from $0 to over $10k per month and has worked with many prestigious clients such as Sumo, Shopify, and Single Grain.

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