When the internet was first invented, there was only one way to get online – using a desktop computer and connecting a modem. Technology has moved rapidly, and now we can access the web on multiple devices, even on-the-go. The growth in mobile devices tells us that websites need to be designed with a range of devices in mind.

Internet usage is increasing, especially on mobile devices, which means mobile marketing is more important than ever before. Last year, Google reported that searches on mobile had overtaken desktop for the first time. As we head towards multi-platform consumption, businesses need to ensure their digital marketing strategies are also cross-platform.

User behaviour on each device is also different, such as the time of day they access the internet and what they search for on each device. Understanding consumer behaviour across devices is really important when considering where your brand fits in. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between each device and its users.

image of open laptop on webpageDesktop or laptop

Most people still use a PC at work, but at home they may have a tablet. Desktop browsing still accounts for a large amount of web usage, and computer users tend to engage more. According to Search Engine Watch, web visits on desktops last three times longer than mobile visits on average. This makes sense, as if you wanted to visit a range of websites for some research you’d probably use the comfort of a desktop or laptop over a smartphone.

Mobile – smartphone

In today’s world you can do absolutely everything with a smartphone, from finding your way to a destination to paying for a purchase in a shop. Many people also use their phone to make quick web searches. Users see a smartphone as an integral part of daily life, with 70% of survey respondents saying they won’t leave home without it. 53% of users report engaging with ads on their smartphone.

Mobile – tabletimage of mobile on google homepage

While a tablet can essentially perform the same tasks as a smartphone, it is viewed by users as a completely different device. Perhaps because of its size, in the same survey 68% of users said that their tablet was “for entertainment.” On mobile devices it is also important to remember that users are likely to spend more time on apps than browsing the mobile web.

When working on your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to consider all devices and understand how your target audience will be accessing your website. For example, would it be more beneficial for your company to advertise on mobile or desktop? What time of day should you post on social media for most people to see it? Answering these types of questions will help you get the most out of your marketing budget.