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Can you think of any activities you do only on your smartphone or tablet?  How about email or online shopping or even online banking? Last week eMarketer re-released insights (originally from Prosper Mobile Insights) on activities US smartphone/tablet owners conduct only through mobile (mobile=smartphone or tablet), and results show a good number of people perform certain activities only through mobile.  According to the data, half of US mobile users receive, check and send email only through their smartphone or tablet device. More than 25% of users do online shopping through mobile only.


What does this mean for mobile?  Well, first off, as mentioned many times before, retailers who haven’t already done so need to optimize their commerce sites for mobile and ensure back-end systems are well integrated for a seamless user experience and checkout process.  This applies especially to retailers of women’s apparel and goods, as females are much more likely than men to online shop only on their smartphones or tablets (31.0% of women versus 19.4% of men).


There is also huge potential in mobile email marketing. Considering the population of the US, 115.8M people use a smartphone and 54.8M use a tablet, according to eMarketer. Assuming that tablet owners are likely to also be smartphone users and a little over half of mobile device owners check email exclusively through mobile, that’s at least 60M people who access mobile email! Marketers who haven’t already, should take this into consideration and ensure their email messages are optimized for mobile, i.e. less content, more impact.  Perhaps marketers looking to generate more sales and loyalty should reconsider their email marketing initiatives.



Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.


  • Email is the activity both women and men were most likely to conduct only through mobile (57.3% and 44.4%, respectively)
  • Females were much more likely than men to shop online via mobile only
  • Men were more likely than women to send IMs and do online banking via mobile only
  • Almost half (45.3%) of these users did Internet searches only via mobile


  • Tens of millions of people check their email only through smartphone/tablet
  • Marketing emails need to be mobile optimized—design with a smaller amount of content that makes a larger impact
  • Bottom line: mobile optimized sites and emails are a must

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