Meet Anne: she’s twenty-nine years old and works in marketing. But more importantly, she’s a great example of some of the cross-device and digital behavior trends we’ve seen seen developing over the past year. And looking at a day in her life also helps us understand the rapidly-evolving consumer landscape as we look ahead to 2017.
Illustrating A Cross-Device Day
Anne is an active cross-device user, employing three different devices (two of them mobile) to access the internet, apps, and services throughout her day. Verto Analytics data shows that the average smartphone user (among U.S. adults, ages 18 and above) has more than 70 apps installed on their device, but on average, only 18 unique apps are used on a weekly basis, and only 7 are used daily. Anne accesses more apps on a daily basis than most: in the example below, we see her using 13 apps on her smartphone over the course of the day, and an additional three unique apps on her tablet. She’s an especially heavy user of messaging and communication apps: Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Viber are three of her most frequently-used apps, and she switches between her mobile devices and PC based on location and time of day.
Verto Analytics data shows that the average U.S. consumer owns five devices and nearly 40% of these same consumers use smartphones, tablets, and PCs concurrently. While Anne only owns three devices, she moves across them seamlessly and often concurrently. The time of day and her location (at home versus in the office or on the go) dictates her choice of device: PC use picks up over the course of her workday, but her mobile devices (particularly her smartphone) is an active presence throughout the day, and her tablet plays an especially important role in the mornings and evenings.
But Anne’s app behaviors are far more device-agnostic: she accesses many key messaging and productivity apps across multiple devices. As her work day winds down, she begins browsing on Amazon.com, but completes her purchase on Amazon’s mobile app during her commute home. Regardless of the device she’s using, messaging and social media apps play a significant role in the amount of time she spends online, which reflects a greater trend in the behavior of American adults: Verto Analytics data shows that the average American adult (ages 18 and above) spends nearly 70 hours per month using social media apps.
The Trends Behind the Picture
While it’s just an example, a day in Anne’s life gives us a glimpse into broader trends in consumer behaviors. Most importantly, it’s clear that cross-device consumers are quickly becoming the new standard: this means that consumers are not only using multiple devices, but they’re also using multiple devices concurrently.
Second, a day in Anne’s life underscores the importance of mobile: two thirds of the devices that Anne uses are mobile devices, and her smartphone is a constant presence throughout the day. Almost 50% of total digital time spent already takes place on mobile devices, and advertisers are responding in force: mobile ad spend is slated to exceed more than 50% of all digital ad spend by the end of 2016. Mobile will continue to represent an increasing amount of the time that consumers spend online. Brands, advertisers, and app publishers must take the increasingly mobile-centric, cross-device user behaviors into account as they launch campaigns and products.