Pandemic Making Mobile Even More Prominent

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It’s almost a certainty that in say five to 10 years from now there’s going to be all sorts of conclusions identified about how the COVID years of ’20 and ’21 let to widespread fundamental changes to the lives of humans. Some of that will be good, some of that will be not so good. Some of them are already very apparent, like the explosion in popularity for online shopping. Others can’t be seen as easily and it takes data analysts and the like to dig up those realities and share them with the rest of us.

Which is fine. And leads us to the question – have you noticed your mobile device in your hands and ‘at work’ a whole lot more often since around about a year ago? For some people that may have been the reality long before early 2020, but as a collective whole it would seem that COVID-19 has somewhat subtly made our smartphones a whole lot more integral to our day to day. Here at 4GoodHosting, we imagine we’re like any good Canadian web hosting provider in that we’ve seen more interest in people having mobile-friendly websites.

So what’s behind all of this, and how is that a global pandemic is making mobile even more prominent in the digital lives of earth’s inhabitants?

App usage, purchasing, and time spent on apps have all gone up considerably as the world relied even more on mobile web access to weather the storm. In response to this more and more venture capital has gone into mobile web technology development, and industries that really saw a lot of it were financial services, transportation, commerce, and shopping. And that’s lead to what’s being seen now – 26% of total global VC funding is going into mobile-related ventures and $73 billion was directed into mobile just last year.

Attention and Engagement

There are a lot of different factors that are leading people to be approaching more and more tasks with their handheld device rather than a notebook or desktop. Mobile is increasingly the hub, both at home and at work and it’s a new reality driving considerable changes in how we spend our time. Look no further than recent study results that found our US neighbours now spend 8% more time on mobile devices than they do watching TV.

All around the world many countries have people that spend an average of more than 4 hours a day on their mobile devices. There’s always been an attention economy and now mobile is very much in the centre of it. Again looking to the USA, it’s estimated that people spend anywhere from 16 to 30% of their time using apps on mobile devices, and that’s for everyone from millennials all the way to Gen X and even for Baby Boomers too.

Add further that consumers spent $143 billion on apps – or in them – in 2020. That’s up 20% from the year previous.

Changing Enterprise is Front & Centre

Not surprisingly, Apple and their iOS14 are right on the cutting edge of the new mobile economy. iOS 14 quickly jumped out to higher adoption rates than previous OS generations, and that lead to mobile ad placements growing 95% across the year. Next we add to that the new work-from-home reality that many people now have, and all B2C and B2B communications that come along with that. A similar survey found that business apps grew 275% year over year the 4th quarter of 2020.

What this has created is a need for more consistent data usage and speed, and of course the best of that is coming with 5G. Or so we’ve been told. Then there’s also more and more people using mobile devise for inter-office communication when they’re away from their home workstation, often on apps like Microsoft Teams or Slack.

Communication apps like Twitch and Discord, community-focused apps including Nextdoor, and payment apps are also expanding in leaps and bounds in the space for the same reasons. The interest in better privacy and security for these apps is also pushing investment into mobile.

Industry Transformation

The shift doesn’t end there. Finance, investment, education, and keep-fit apps saw a noticeable use uptick too, and eBook revenues climbed 30%. Digital wallets are increasingly popular for people increasingly comfortable with mobile-based finances, and more and more people are investing through their smartphone too. Stock market activity on mobile climbed 55% globally with Robinhood, Cash App, TD Ameritrade, Yahoo Finance, and Webull Stocks coming in as the top-5 investment apps.

Using iOS within enterprise is also up quite a bit too, and notable here is HSBC embracing Apple’s ecosystem as a means of delivering cutting-edge mobile services that are customer facing.

Last but not least – how many have found you’re ordering in a LOT more than you used to? Food delivery services also saw use increases of more than 100% year-on-year across most markets.

Skipping the dishes fairly regularly these days? Joint the club it seems, and it’s for all the reasons that mobile is increasingly taking the lead given new world realties and expanding user preferences.

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