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Mobile vs Desktop (vs Tablet) Activities: Consumer and Business Statistics in 2023

The use of smartphones and desktops varies significantly between consumers and businesses. This article, backed by recent statistics and sources, delves into how these devices are utilized. Here are some overall key differentiators:

  • Media Consumption: While both smartphones and desktops are used for media consumption, smartphones lead in personal media consumption, whereas desktops are preferred for business-related media consumption.
  • E-commerce: There’s a significant overlap in e-commerce, with smartphones leading in the number of transactions but desktops having a higher conversion rate.
  • Search and Web Traffic: Mobile dominates in web visits and search traffic, but desktop searches still account for more than half of all searches, highlighting an overlap in information search behavior.

Consumer Use of Smartphones and Desktops

  • Mobile vs. Desktop Web Traffic: From 2012 to 2023, global mobile phone website traffic share has seen a significant increase from 10.88% to 60.06%, while desktop share has decreased from 89.12% to 39.94%, marking a clear shift towards mobile web browsing over the years.
  • Smartphones Dominate Media Time: Approximately 70% of all media time is now spent on smartphones. This includes activities like streaming services (Netflix), and social media platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube).
  • Frequency of Checking Phones: The average internet user checks their phone about 58 times daily, with some Americans checking up to 160 times.
  • News Consumption: News consumption via mobile devices has steadily increased, from 28% in 2013 to 56% in 2022. Conversely, desktop use for news consumption has slightly declined, from 16% in 2013 to 17% in 2022. Tablet usage for news peaked in 2013 at 71% and decreased significantly to 41% by 2022, indicating a shift towards smaller, more portable devices for news consumption.
  • Preference for Apps Over Mobile Web: Consumers spend 90% of their media time on mobile apps compared to just 10% on the mobile web.
  • Travel Bookings: A significant 85% of travelers use mobile devices to book travel activities.
  • Information Search and Web Traffic: Around 75% of smartphone owners turn to search first to address their immediate needs. Mobile devices account for a significant share of web traffic, capturing 67% globally and 58% in the U.S..
  • Smartphones Lead in Gaming: 70% of American gamers prefer using smartphones for gaming, making it the most popular gaming device over gaming consoles (52%) and personal computers (43%). Virtual Reality (VR) devices are used the least, with only 7% opting for them.
  • Video Consumption and Sharing: Over 75% of all video plays occur on mobile devices, with mobile users being highly active in sharing videos.
  • Social Media Browsing: Mobile devices are the primary means for accessing social media, with 80% of social media users accessing via smartphone. This trend is consistent across various countries.

E-Commerce Usage with Smartphones and Desktops

  • Conversion Rates by Device: Desktop devices have consistently higher online shopper conversion rates, averaging 3-4%, compared to tablets at 3% and mobile devices at 2% from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022.
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment Trends: In the US, the abandonment rate during online shopping is consistently higher on desktops (83-85%) compared to mobile devices (69-74%) from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022.
  • Global Mobile E-commerce: The top 10 countries by mobile e-commerce purchases, with South Korea leading at 44.3%. Chile and Malaysia follow, each with 37.7%, showing a strong preference for mobile shopping across these nations.
mobile commerce by country
  • Shopping and E-commerce: Smartphones are extensively used in shopping, with 80% of shoppers using their phones in physical stores to check reviews and compare prices. During the 2018 holiday season, 40% of all e-commerce products in the U.S. were purchased via smartphones.

Business Use of Smartphones and Desktops

  1. Business Management Apps: In recent years, mobile business apps are increasingly used in business management.
  2. Business Video Consumption: Despite the rise of mobile, 87% of business-related videos are viewed on desktops, suggesting a preference for larger screens and focused environments in professional settings.
  3. Desktops for E-commerce Transactions: While mobile devices account for 60% of all e-commerce transactions, desktop visits to e-commerce websites yield a higher conversion rate (3% for desktops compared to 2% for smartphones).

The landscape of digital device usage in 2023 shows a distinct pattern between consumer and business use. Consumers favor smartphones for media consumption, shopping, social media, and travel bookings. In contrast, businesses prefer desktops to view business-related videos and conduct e-commerce transactions with higher conversion rates. This difference underscores the evolving nature of technology use in personal and professional domains.

Adam Small

Adam Small is the CEO of AgentSauce, a full-featured, automated real estate marketing platform integrated with direct mail, email, SMS, mobile apps, social media, CRM, and MLS.

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