Mobile Mania in Australia – Mobile Internet Usage Statistics

Mobile Internet Use

Last week I attended a mobile marketing breakfast held by Citrus in Melbourne. This was timely as AIMIA had also released their latest mobile study. With so many facts, figures and trends circulating it is therefore time to review and interpret just what this means for marketers.

Fact 1) AIMIA stated iPhone now represents 21% marketshare in Australia whilst a Telstra survey indicated ownership of iPhone was approx 10%.

Handset manufacturers globally and locally are very coy about releasing statistics related to handsets shipped to individual markets. As a result it is difficult to gain actual figures on handset ownership. What is however obvious from the above statistics is handset ownership of iPhone sits somewhere in the realm of 10 – 20% share in Australia. So what other manufacturers are dominating the landscape? Nokia still retains a high level of share with ownership above 40% but does seem to be slightly diminishing, whilst what is on the rise is the share of Android phones.
What this means is we have 3 to 4 dominant players which are battling for share and to quote the GM of Technology of Citrus “When creating mobile strategies don’t think handset think mobile capability”

Mobile Usage FrequencyFact 2: 40% of smart-phone users in Australia are over the age of 40 (Source: AIMIA)

Like with social media locally and globally usage of smart-phones is becoming less generational. When mobilising your site it is therefore important to consider that it may be utilised by people of all ages thus how can you best cater for an array of individuals from different age groups.

However despite greater uptake by the older generations, it seems heavier usage still exists for younger demographics as well as for males – according to the Telstra Smartphone Index.

Fact 3: 41 per cent of consumers have installed a mobile application and of those 43% have installed less than 5 apps (Source: AIMIA)

When many organizations think mobile strategy they think apps. However these statistics show that whilst many consumers are using smartphone they are not all downloading applications. And those that are, many do so in small quantities. Therefore if your budget is small you need to decide where it will be best spent. I believe these statistics really crystallize 2 things;

1) Mobilise your existing site and build an app second
2) As app development can be expensive – do your research and your numbers and ensure that if you go down the application path that you build something unique otherwise your return may be minimal.

Fact 4: Mobile eCommence has grown in some areas and has been fairly static in others.

Statistics from AIMIA showed;
• 24% of respondents used their mobile phone for banking at least on a monthly basis, compared to 19% last year.
• 17% of respondents used their mobile phone to make payments at least on a monthly basis, compared to 12% last year.
• 12% of respondents used their mobile phone to buy things for their mobile phone at least on a monthly basis, compared to 10% last year.
• 9% of respondents used their mobile phone to buy things not for their mobile phone, at least on a monthly basis, compared to 8% last year.

What these statistics show us is that more convenience type transactions like banking and mobile payments are increasingly becoming important to mobile users. Whilst transacting for general goods seems to have remained rather static year on year. This could be because of the lack of m-commerce sites in Australia as many retailers still struggle to establish an eCommerce presence.

Search Engine URL SubmissionFact 5: One in five use mobile search sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing daily. (Source; Telstra Smartphone Index)

In addition to the above trends, statistics from Google suggest mobile search has tripled in the past year. Trends such as these reveal the importance of creating a mobile search strategy and in particular optimising for local search.

Fact 6: Mobile advertising expenditure will reach $76m by 2015, growing at 46% a year (Frost & Sullivan)

Mobile advertising in Australia has reached $9.1 million in 2010, small compared to the projection of the next 5 years. As it is projected that mobile internet usage will surpass desktop by 2013, organisations need to ensure they are investing their marketing budget in channels where their audiences are spending their time. In Australia we have witnessed slow uptake of shifting spend from the offline to the online space and therefore organisations who exploit the trend early will benefit from low advertising rates and higher cut-through.

Related Video: Australian Mobile Marketing

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Mobile Search – It’s Just Different

Search Engines

In March 2009, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, stated that mobile search will surpass PC search in years NOT decades. So whilst mobile still has a long way to go, it is definitely becoming another important channel for marketers to consider. Mobile search is just one of the many areas which will start to receive significant attention over the next 12 months, so I have collated some of the most interesting mobile search trends I have come across to date;

1. Search query length; According to a recent report published by several of Google’s researchers, the average users search query on a mobile phone is 15.89 characters. This is 18% fewer characters than the average length of a user search query on a desktop. In addition the average number of words per query is 2.44 on a mobile phone, which is 20% lower than search queries on a desktop. As a result, it is important to understand how users search on mobile by conducting specific mobile keyword research.

2. Type of queries; MobiThinking stated in their recent SEO Best Practice Guide that it takes users approximately 40 seconds and 30 key strokes to enter a short URL / search query. As a result predictive search queries presented by search engines play a big role in simplifying the mobile search experience. Thus from a mobile SEO perspective, it is important to place your site in the most common predictive search phrases related to your product or service offering.

Local Search Query3. Local Query Searches; As is widely published, mobile searches will often contain location based queries, however it is also important to note that users are not only searching for this content via search engines. Mobile applications have to date achieved much success, which is partly due to the effective presentation of information within these applications. Thus it is important to understand that optimisation for location based queries may not be enough. Consider how key applications related to your industry are gathering results from search engines and how your mobile site can deliver content in the format required to be featured within these applications.

4. Voice Based Mobile Search; Despite however the current trends in user behaviour, there is a significant advancement which is and will continue to revolutionise the industry and will turn what we know today on its head. This is the introduction of voice based search for mobile phones. Whilst Yahoo & Google developed applications for voice based search in late 2008, widespread adoption is yet to take hold and as Google continues to innovate in this area it will be an important space to watch. Voice based search for mobile will eradicate many of the time and keystroke related issues experienced by mobile users when searching. And although tt is obviously very earlier days on the voice search based front once widespread, mobile SEO will change considerably as “voice search queries” will differ considerably from “text based search” as users are not restricted by small keypads and screens.

Share any trends you have come across regarding the mobile search below;

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