Over the last twelve months, online consumer behaviour has undergone the biggest shift yet in relation to the devices consumers are using to access sites.  As someone that oversees our consumer sites, which generated in excess of 24 million unique visits over the last year, I’ve seen the proliferation of mobile and tablet devices change the dynamic of online marketing beyond all recognition.

Having worked in marketing for many years nothing has impacted consumer behaviour as profoundly as mobiles and tablets usage since the birth of the internet itself. The way in which consumer’s access and use the internet has forced change in terms of our thinking, considerations and marketing strategy. For many years marketers had stability; all users accessing the internet using desktop devices, website and email design had only one consideration.

At Clickwork7, our consumer sites have seen a 42% increase in mobile traffic peaking at 88% in the case of Producttesting.com and a 50% decrease in desktop traffic. In addition to this, tablet traffic has also increased by an average of 40%, and based on this analysis, we expect it to grow further in the coming six months.  

Our findings over the last two years give credibility and great meaning to the importance of listening to your consumer, we might deceive ourselves into thinking that marketers determine the actions of consumers; however, I can assure you it’s the opposite. We have adapted to accommodate this change in user behaviour, optimising our websites and email and changing our marketing strategies.

However, although the importance of mobile optimisation is known by marketers and sales persons alike, almost two thirds of consumers are still frustrated by brands sites that aren’t ‘mobile ready’, and our findings are supported by  a recent study from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Kantar Media. Some would argue that traffic by device is determined by your marketing methods and of course they would be correct. However, with marketing mediums like Google PPC and Facebook driving a greater volume of traffic from mobile and tablet users, without optimisation your marketing opportunities and reach could deplete rapidly as desktop traffic continues to decline.

We’re seeing that, in the UK, mobile and tablet users are dictating the future of website and email optimisation. Brands need to more quickly recognise that data is king – so use it, understand your users, look at your analytics and observe your users’ behaviour.  Respond to users and provide them with the required optimisation to ensure you maximise conversions.

Mobile and tablet devices now account for an exponential change in the way users engage and transact online. With users demanding multi-device websites, every business must give consideration to desktop, mobile and tablet whether you are an advertiser or a publisher. In particular, advertisers that aren’t considerate of this multi device requirement are in danger of seeing their campaigns lose exposure and traction as publishers push their campaigns to the bottom of their sites due to poor conversions.

As technologies continue to emerge and users spend increased time online it is paramount that brands and business dedicate the same care and attention to their online presence as they would a physical retail space. The lesson here is, if you are to continue to succeed in this fast paced digital arena, keep ahead of user trends, be guided by your analytics and always consider the multi-device world we live in.