Editor’s Note: This article was written a few years back, but the information still resonates. Let’s have a look at how much further we’ve come since then and for fresh best practices and recommendations on mobile marketing download this complimentary Forrester guide.

Mobile marketing is the future. Any marketer, or marketing firm worth their weight in invoices knows that the key to future success is adapting to and optimizing for the mobile market. When you’re in a public place, you don’t have to look far to find someone pre-occupied with a smartphone. This very same occurrence that you see on a day-to-day basis also happens at home, with tablets. Tablets and mobile devices are taking over the market and that makes for an exciting piece of Internet history that many are recognizing, but few are really cashing in on.

The following 7 statistics will give you an idea of just how big this is, and how much bigger it’ll be over the next few years. Pay close attention.

75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom.

More than ever, Americans are attached to their devices. So much so, that they take the device with them wherever they go, even the bathroom. While the majority of time spent on mobile devices is checking email, browsing social media sites or playing games – this leaves a lot of time to reach your potential customers.

A more recent 2015 survey by Verizon, “True Wireless Confessions,” reported that out of 6,000 respondents, a whopping 90% said they bring their phones with them when they use the bathroom.

40% of shoppers consult 3 or more channels (often while shopping) before making a purchase.

This same stat was less than 10% in 2002. That’s mind-boggling growth in just over 10 years. Even more astonishing is the fact that 52% of Americans user their devices while browsing in-store in order to research the product online. This type of behavior will ultimately lead to an increase in the importance of online reputation management, fair pricing and transparency from retail outlets.

A study by GfK found that, today, 45 percent of all shopping journeys involve mobile; among millennials, that figure rises to 57 percent. And take notice: Companies with an omnichannel customer engagement strategy in place retain on average 89% of their customers (Business 2 Community).

4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.

This should surprise no one. Mobile users are shoppers, and we’ve got data to prove it. Smart retailers (like Target) are recognizing this trend and incentivizing the use of mobile phones within the store with discounts and coupons targeted at mobile users. Many restaurants are doing the same thing by offering a free drink, appetizer or a coupon code to those that check in using Foursquare, Yelp or Facebook.

By 2015, the usage was closer to 9 out of 10 (Session M). Furthermore, GlobalWebIndex reported in 2015 that 46% of shoppers used their smartphones to buy products, and 21% used their tablets. The clear trend: Mcommerce is on the rise.

By 2014 mobile is predicted to overtake desktop Internet usage.

This is largely based on the developing world having access to cheap smartphones and data plans as opposed to having to buy a laptop or desktop device to access the Internet. The rise in 3g and 4g data in countries like India and China proved to be a massive shift in the dynamic of mobile web usage due to the poor infrastructure in most major metro areas (and especially outside them). This poor infrastructure leads to slower and more expensive at-home connections thus providing a real opportunity for smart phones in these markets.

Close. According to comScore, the number of mobile-only users overtook desktop users in the first quarter of 2015. In 2016, mobile Internet usage is more common than not: Worldwide, at least 52% of users access the Internet via mobile; that number increases to 75% within the United States (HostingFacts.com).

As of 2012, 116 million Americans owned smartphones.

This figure is up from 93.1 million just a year earlier. 2013 will prove to be the tipping point as smartphone usage is expected to reach nearly 60%. This figure alone should justify the expense of a mobile strategy by most businesses.

In 2016, 198.5 million Americans own smartphones (nearly two-thirds of the US population). – comScore

70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.

Mobile users that find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop. Why? Mobile users are on the go. When you’re browsing, you grab the laptop and start researching or just satisfying curiosity for products or services. When you grab your smartphone to search, you have a specific intent in mind, whether it be food, clothing or an oil change for your car. Mobile searchers are buyers, assuming you can meet their needs.

Now, according to Google, 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action; more than 50% lead to sales.

78% of retailers plan to invest in mobile this year.

The figure is expected to top 220 million within the retail market alone. In marketing, retailers drive trends, and if they’re spending that kind of money in mobile, maybe it’s time to evaluate your strategy.

By 2015, 52% of companies surveyed had full mobile strategies in place, and 90% planned on increasing mobile app investment in 2016 by an average of 24% (Red Hat Mobile Maturity Survey). According to Retail Me Not, 87% of retail marketers planned on increasing mobile advertising budgets.

If these stats aren’t mind boggling enough for you, try this one on for size. If you take a look at the world’s 7 billion plus people, more of these people own smartphones than toothbrushes. How’s that for mind boggling?

And, a 2016 report from Cisco says that by 2020, there will be more people globally who own a cell phone than those who have electricity or running water. Mind-boggling, indeed.

This article is by Chris Warden from convinceandconvert.com. Chris Warden is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive. Starting his entrepreneurial career at age 19, he has performed in numerous capacities owning and managing both offline and online companies. A regular contributor to Convince&Convert he is cofounder of Eligibility.com.

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