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The Data Digital Marketers Need To Know About Mobile Advertising

If you’re like most digital marketers, you’re probably pretty familiar with the Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report. But, if you don’t have the time to sift through the report’s 213 slides to get the valuable nuggets that will help inform our digital marketing plans, Rish Gupta’s “Mobile Cheat Sheet for the Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report” has got you covered. The data points we quote from Gupta’s “Cheat Sheet” below are a great place to start. Then dive into the full report below for more detail.


3 Billion+ Internet users growing at 9%. The growth rate has slightly declined in the last 4 years, but with the base becoming larger, growth rates are bound to slow down.

India has 277 million internet users, making it the second largest market after China and bigger than United States in terms of user count. India grew internet users by 40% in 2015, adding more than 70 million users.

There are more than 2.5 billion Smartphone users. The growth rate of smartphone users was 21% in 2015, but is slowing gradually. If we extrapolate growth of smartphone users and internet users, one can conclude that within 2 years, all internet users will have a smartphone. 

Asia-Pacific accounts for 52% of all smartphone users, while North America and Western Europe combined account for only 25% of smartphone users.

The average user has 30 apps installed, spends 4–5 hours on mobile, and uses about 12 apps a day (more than 50,000 apps are launched every month). Also, 80% of time spent is captured by 3 apps. In the United States it is Facebook, Chrome, and YouTube; while globally its Facebook, WhatsApp, and Chrome. With Chrome in the top 3, it’s important to optimize interactions between the mobile app and mobile website.

The Mobile Advertising Industry

The annual growth rate of the online advertising industry in the United States is in excess of 20%, with mobile advertising driving almost all of the growth. 

Mobile advertising holds a lot of promise with 25% of time spent on mobile, but mobile advertising accounting for only 12% of total ad-spend. It is worth noting that 3/4 of all ad revenue growth is captured by two companies: Google and Facebook. 

The Impact of Commerce

Ecommerce (Mobile-commerce included) is 10% of all retail sales in the United States. The growth rate is expected to increase as millennials become older and have more disposable income. This implies more commerce will be driven via mobile. 

Online shopping data is leading to new private labels by online sellers (e.g. Amazon launching Pinzon in home goods or Franklin Tailored in shoes). Data is allowing brands and online retailers to create highly tailored products and fine-tune algorithms to map users probability of purchase.

Online retailers are not just launching data backed brands, but bringing retail to your doorstep. E.g. StitchFix , Le Tote, Trunk Club etc.

Mobile is driving image based shopping and image commerce is rising. 55% of Pinterest users reported using Pinterest to find potential purchases. Offer-up, an image based local commerce app, rivals Snapchat and Instagram on time-spent/user. Offer-up is on path to $14 billion in GMV.

Successful internet online retailers are reaching $100 million in sales less than 4 years after launch, 2x as fast as offline retailers.

Mobile-commerce is highly lucrative and quickly creating new trends. Firstly, it is leveraging data to customize products and predict purchase patterns. Secondly, the combination of image based shopping and chat based commerce is driving purchase behavior. Thirdly, it brings retail to the consumer’s doorstep, helping millennials save their most valuable asset: time. 

Android vs iOS

1 billion+ Android phones and approximately 230 million iPhones were shipped in 2015. The growth rate is down to 10% and is expected to slide down to single digits in 2016.

The average selling price of an Android phone is $200 while the iPhone is $650. This reflects in revenues per user, with iOS users spending 7X more, on average, than their Android counterparts.

Despite Android having 4X more users than iOS, revenues in the iOS App Store exceed revenues of the Android Play Store by 1.75X. While the Play Store is responsible for 2X more app downloads than the App Store, an average iOS user downloads 2X more apps than an Android user.

Android Smartphone prices are declining and will continue to do so. The average Android selling price has been reduced by 50% since 2008. In India, the average phone costs $150, which is 10% of the annual per capita income. In Ethiopia, a smartphone costs almost 50% of annual per capita income. iPhones prices have increased 10% since 2007 and cost 3X-4X more than the average Android phone. (Or approximately 6 to 18 months of wages in some countries.)

Xiaomi, the world’s 3rd largest private company and 2nd largest mobile phone manufacturer is a testament to this phenomenon — providing great phones at affordable costs.

For an app developer, this means a highly fragmented user base, spread across hundreds of devices and different OS versions. Additionally, if you are monetizing via in-app purchases, iOS users are 7X more valuable as compared to Android users. 

Click here to view the full report. 

So what does this all mean? The simple answer is this: Smartphones will continue to revolutionize every aspect of our society at a rapid rate. Brands that harness the power of mobile technology will survive. And those that don’t…wont. 

So…what side of the mobile technology curve are you on? 

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Editor, The Mobile Retail Blog

Editor-in-Chief of The Mobile Retail Blog with NewStore.

Topics: mobile advertising

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