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A new study published by ad tech company Fluent shows the holiday season is looking to be more mobile than ever.

According to the report, nearly 40% of all US consumers are already planning to make at least one purchase this holiday season from a mobile device. Unsurprisingly, younger consumers appear to be more likely to make purchases from mobile devices compared to older individuals.

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For the survey, the company asked almost 2,000 US consumers questions about their holiday shopping plans in late September. The responses showed 39% plan to make at least one purchase on a mobile device, with younger shoppers being increasingly likely to go mobile.

Just less than half of consumers between the ages of 18-44 say they plan to shop on mobile devices, compared to 33% of those 45-years-old or older.

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The survey also provides insight into how consumers will be researching their purchases ahead of time, both online and offline. In total, approximately 54% will do the majority of their research online, while 47% will continue to do their research in traditional physical stores.

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While online research is becoming a big part of the holiday season, brick-and-mortar stores will still be where shoppers are spending the majority of their money. The survey results show 78% of consumers will do at least half their shopping in stores, while 22 percent said they will do at least half their shopping online.

The survey shows a small discrepancy between genders, as well. Fluent says men are slightly more likely to research products online compared to women.

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Last week, during Recode’s Code/Mobile conference, Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, announced that over half of all searches conducted on Google each month are coming from mobile devices.

Mobile has quickly become a dominant force in search, but it has only overtaken desktop in both search and ad volume over the past year.

For this count, Google is not including mobile devices with screens over 6 inches in size, such as tablets. According to the company, Google is primarily counting mobile views as those coming from smartphones.

During his announcement, Singhal explained how the definition of search is changing as the way people interact with their devices and the internet evolves:

“Search as we think about it is fundamentally how you will interact with computing. Computing may live in a 4-to-6-inch device, it may live in a desktop, it may live on a 1-inch round device.”

The news was leaked by John Mueller on Google+ this week, while offering a warning to those who have yet to make their sites mobile-friendly:

“More than half of Google’s searches are now coming from mobile. If you haven’t made your site (or your client’s sites) mobile-friendly, you’re ignoring a lot of potential users. “

According to Search Engine Journal, Google also announced it has indexed over 100 billion links within apps, showing how Google is growing beyond the traditional idea of the web page.

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Most reports have made Mobilegeddon out to be a farce with only a small effect on Google’s search results overall. New analysis from digital agency Koozai, however, suggests small and medium businesses (SMB) felt quite an impact when Google rolled out their mobile friendly algorithm.

According to Koozai’s May survey of 2,000 SMB’s with 50 or fewer employees, nearly half (46%) of all respondents reported experiencing changes in ranking. Of that group, 41 percent also saw a drop in rankings by at least three spots. This may not sound like much, but a drop in just one or two rankings can have huge impacts on traffic.

“The hype that the Google mobile update would cause carnage in the search engine rankings missed the larger picture,” says Ben Norman, chief executive (CEO) of Koozai. “Exaggerating the impact meant that businesses didn’t anticipate that even small changes in their ranking can have a big impact on their organic mobile search results.”

Norman says much of the confusion is due to the idea that a single algorithm is the deciding factor when determining ranking. Google uses over 200 different factors to rank pages on search results pages, but some were led to believe the mobile optimization would be the ultimate deciding factor. On the contrary, 27 percent of businesses in Koozai’s survey reported drops in rankings despite having optimized their sites for mobile.

This leads many business owners to feel like they are being punished after acting on Google’s warnings, which Norman says illustrates how frequently SMBs are poorly educated on SEO and fail to understand e-commerce analytics.

“Many consumers today will research on mobile and then purchase on desktop,” he says. “Many SMBs are missing out on these lead-creation opportunities if they don’t know if their e-commerce sites aren’t giving their potential customers a good experience on mobile.”

Of the businesses involved, 37 percent said they were worried the mobile friendly algorithm update would impact their sales while 44 percent said they were not concerned because the majority of their sales come from desktop shopping. Nearly half said they were unsure about the relationship between devices and could not say whether mobile influenced their desktop sales. In addition, 12 percent did not know whether their sites had been optimized for mobile at all.

There were predictions well before the release of the algorithm that small and medium businesses would be the most likely to be impacted by ‘Mobilegeddon’, but many reviews of the algorithm’s effects failed to consider the disparity in their post-Mobilegeddon analysis.

Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm started rolling out Tuesday, and so far it looks like “mobilegeddon” was far from apocalyptic. Most SEO’s and webmasters are reporting little change to their rankings and the world has continued spinning.

However, a report from Google shows one way the new algorithm had an impact before it even arrived.

Shortly before the start of the mobile-friendly roll-out, Google announced it had seen a “4.7% uptick in the proportion of sites that are mobile friendly” compared to their previous stats released two months ago.

While 4.7% may seem like a small number of sites, it is important to consider the number in the context of the absolutely huge number of sites that are not being maintained and offer little value but are currently still resolving. It also shows many webmasters began to realize the importance of going mobile in the wake of the advancing algorithm.

Expect to see even more sites make the change in the coming weeks as the new algorithm begins to have a more pronounced effect and word spreads.

This year is already proving to be a big one for the mobile internet. In the past few months, mobile browsing has overtaken desktop browsing, Google has announced a huge “mobile-friendly” algorithm update, and smartphones are continuing to become even more prominent in American society.

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A new report from comScore shows just how common smartphones are in the US, and the numbers are staggering. By February of this year, over three-quarters of all American mobile subscribers now on smartphones, and predictions don’t show any sign of slowing down. By the end of the year, it is possible over 80% will own smartphones.

The findings of the study show some shakeups from previous reports, such as Samsung beginning to lose market share while LG is making gains.  Otherwise the findings are relatively flat from last year

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Greg Sterling took the time to graph the latest findings from comScore with those from the past three years, which gives a better perspective of how things have changed in that time. For example, Apple shows modest growth, while other smaller brands are losing share and Samsung shows stagnation.

 

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Along with the mobile penetration report, comScore also showed new data on the top apps from February 2014 to 2015. The list is largely similar with previous years, however Yahoo Stocks, Yahoo Weather, and the Weather Channel have been usurped by hot apps like Amazon, Google+, and Snapchat.

Best-Android-phones-for-Christmas-2013Now that the holiday season is over, several companies including Target and Amazon are releasing statistics related to 2014’s holiday shopping. While there are several interesting facts to be found in the reports, Target’s release may have the most striking bit of information.

Target claims the majority of traffic to its Target.com website came from mobile devices throughout the holiday season, making it clear that mobile is quickly becoming the primary option for online shopping.

The company says, “Mobile traffic made up 60 percent of Target.com traffic November through December.” The press release also highlighted other mobile milestones for the company:

  • Black Friday weekend purchases made via mobile phones were 2 times higher than 2013
  • Cartwheel, Target’s digital coupon app, added 2 million new users over the holiday period and surpassed $1 billion in promotional sales since it launched
  • Target.com store-pickup orders hit a new record high on Thanksgiving Day
  • Store maps in Target’s new iPhone app were accessed more than 400 thousand times

Long-time mobile leader Amazon reported similar findings to Target, saying, “Nearly 60 percent of Amazon.com customers shopped using a mobile device this holiday. Mobile shopping accelerated as customers got later into the shopping season.”

Amazon also mentioned that Cyber Monday was the biggest mobile shopping day of the season, but Black Friday “had the most rapid growth in mobile shopping.” The company also reported that total sales of the Amazon smartphone app had doubled last year, which coincides with Amazon mobile entering comScore’s Top 15 US Smartphone apps list.

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A recent report from Chitika Insights shows the iPhone generates more traffic across both apps and the mobile web in North America than any other smartphone manufacturer. Perhaps surprisingly, its share of traffic was larger on the mobile web than across app usage.

For the study, Chitika analyzed two sets of data including half a billion mobile exchange impressions through their Cidewalk platform (for app traffic) and millions of ad impressions from the Chitika Ad Network (for web traffic).

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While Android devices collectively make up 54% of app-based internet traffic throughout North America, Apple takes the largest individual share. Apple also generates more web traffic (52.5%) than all Android devices combined. In both instances, Apple leads the second most popular smartphone maker, Samsung, by approximately 20 points.

This may seem strange to many, as Google search is prominently featured and more deeply ingrained in Android devices, while the iPhone emphasizes its app store strongly. Chitika explains the interesting findings by saying:

It’s likely that Apple users, in aggregate, are simply more likely to use their browser throughout the course of a given day. Safari has regularly earned praise for its functionality on mobile, and, perhaps more importantly, Apple makes it the default browser for any link clicked on an iOS device. This familiarity may predispose iPhone users to more often trust in their browser when performing tasks, as opposed to finding and using an associated app.

Mobile-Search-Image-MashableDespite numerous  studies showing that mobile is beginning to overtake desktop, a new survey by Marin Software shows only a third of the 300+ digital marketers polled in the U.S. and UK make mobile a priority.

Over half (57 percent) said they optimize for mobile when they can but don’t put great focus on it, while 10 percent said mobile is not a significant part of their strategy at all.

The survey does suggest lack of time and resources could take partial responsibility for the lag. Three-quarters of those polled said their jobs became more complex over the past year as a result of media fragmentation and data overload.

Other portions of the findings suggest hurdles in implementing cross-channel marketing may also play a significant role. Attribution modeling across channels was cited as the biggest road block to implementing effective cross-channel marketing. As Ginny Marvin explains, “If marketers can’t successfully measure the impact of their mobile campaigns, they’ll put their attention elsewhere.”

These problems were reflected in the findings that half of those surveyed also cited a lack of transparency into the necessary data.

While properly prioritizing mobile can be difficult, the latest indications show that mobile will only be more important in the next few years and smartphones improve and society gets more comfortable using phones and tablets in their day-to-day life. Marketers and businesses who stall on prioritizing mobile will eventually have a lot of catching up to do.

SEO and online marketing have changed drastically over just the past couple years, especially with the rise of social media and huge changes to how search engines are able to analyze and rate websites for users. However, some things have stayed the same through it all, such as the importance of email marketing.

It could be easy to think that social media would usurp the place of email marketing in building a relationship between consumers and your brand by gradually letting potential customers see who you are and what you represent. However, you would be wrong as emails still hold their place by offering a direct line to interested users that even social media can’t match.

The majority of businesses realize this, judging by the continued prevalence of email signups and calls-to-action deliberately designed to get visitors onto an email list. What some of those companies may not understand is that they may be missing out on some of the potential of their email list by marketing to the wrong device.

A new report from Movable Ink’s Q1 2014 US Consumer Device Preference Report shows that email opens are continuing to migrate away from desktop to tablets and smartphones. At this point, desktop opens are actually the minority compared to mobile devices.

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Greg Sterling has an analysis of the data from the report, but to me the findings show that a large amount of email marketing is missing the mark by targeting users sitting at a desktop computer browsing through a day’s worth of email. This may have been the norm a few years ago, but today the majority of emails are opened while out and about and emails should be designed to fit this purpose and be able to catch users’ attention from the smaller screen.

You can start making your email marketing strategy more mobile friendly by making your emails explicitly mobile friendly as well as the associated landing pages these emails direct to. In a day-and-age when the majority of people are checking their emails and doing browsing from smartphones there is no excuse to be sending users emails they can’t easily view or sending users to landing pages that require non-iPhone friendly Flash plug-ins.