According to “by 2020, more people will own a phone than have electricity”! says that by “2017, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 222.9 million, with the number of smartphone users worldwide forecast to exceed 2 billion users by that time.”

So it should come as no surprise that the proliferation of devices has profoundly changed the way people interact with their world. People frequently change between their mobile, tablets, laptops and desktops at work, school, home, and during leisure time to get things done. Most of us would rather leave home without our wallet than without our smartphones, and indeed, a lot of our mobile usage is increasingly functioning as a wallet and banking device.

Mobile Usage Research

The latest Google research graphic below illustrates this point.

Mobile Usage Stats from Google

Yet…many marketers refuse to accept this fact and continue to think of digital as PC or laptop based only instead.

Google offers a metric for AdWords advertisers called Cross Device Conversion Tracking. “Cross-device attribution reports show you not only when customers interact with multiple ads before completing a conversion, but also when they do so on multiple devices. This gives you valuable insight into how your customers use different devices on their path to conversion.”

And yet…there are still many businesses that refuse to accept this new reality and the impact of increased mobile usage. I can’t tell you how many clients I see that still don’t have mobile friendly websites and even if they do have a mobile friendly site, their checkout purchase process is not optimized for mobile usage!

Google offers a free mobile friendly evaluation tool.

Finally, there are definitely categories that have seen huge double digit year-over-year increases in mobile search growth (graphic below).

Increased Mobile Usage Leads to Increased Mobile Search
In particular, searches related to Health, Parenting, and Beauty over index in mobile searches. If you’re not taking advantage of this trend now, you will miss out on the very important upcoming shopping season.

Finally, it is important to realize that as digital advertising matures, there will more advertisers competing across more devices for the same consumer. Therefore, the number of impressions and clicks required to achieve the same conversion sale has increased. I have a client that is seeing twenty-two impressions and two clicks needed to achieve a sale. This reminds me of the frequency needed to show the same commercial on broadcast to get a lift in sales.

Consumer Profile from Google Shopping Research October 17, 2016

Tiffany is a 37-year-old mother of three from Minnesota. During the holiday season, she had hundreds of digital interactions with various retailers before she bought anything.

A clickstream path (below) from Thanksgiving Day shows how Tiffany moved from looking for a “leather sectional couch” to “shopping for lamps.”

Her attention shifted from couches to lamps when she realized Walmart and Target both sold those products.

From there, Tiffany went on the hunt for a lamp, browsing different brands and retailers, including, as she looked for the best product at the best price.

Sample Desktop Search Path

Key takeaway: Keep an eye on the customer journey and maximize your presence in those places where people may change course and consider related products.