UK mobile market share rises to 60%
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The UK has emerged as a leading “mobile-first” country with 60% of all websites now viewed on smartphones or tablets, a major report into online mobile habits has revealed.
In the report, “How The UK Surfs the Mobile Web”, global cross-device market intelligence company, SimilarWeb, analyzed the top 10,000 websites visited in the UK over 24 categories, from sports to shopping. It found that 59.6% of website traffic came from mobile devices in 2015, a rise of 13.4% since the previous year.
The study finds a number of sectors are leading the way in their mobile-first strategy, with pet and animal sites, leading the field with 73% of UK visitors arriving via a mobile, rather than desktop. In this sector, Pets4Homes, which allows pet owners to put puppies and cats up for sale, secured an 81% mobile share, followed by Pets at Home (77% mobile share) through strong and visual images of pets and animals.
Other leading mobile-first UK players are health sites (73% market share), generated by on-the-go medical queries, not least for the NHS, which secured 289.3million mobile visits, 79% of which are via mobile.
The least likely sites to be visited via mobile are report are computer and electronics sites (with only a 36.95% market share).
Mobile engagement lower in U.K, except for booming literature sharing sites
The shift to mobile however represents a challenge for companies in securing visitor time on site and pages viewed. While on average, U.K. visitors spent an average of 8 minutes 49 seconds visiting desktop sites, this dropped to 5 minutes 59 seconds for the same site viewed on mobile phones or tablets. The average pages viewed also dropped from 6.7 on desktop to 5.24 when users are on mobile.
The most successful sites in keeping U.K mobile users on site are booming books and literature communities — achieving an average mobile visit per session of 9 minutes 28 seconds.Leading literature community, quotev.com, with 27.9million mobile visits last year, registered a 73% mobile share compared to its desktop visits, and an average session lasting 24 minutes 52 seconds. Meanwhile, Wattpad, another community linking readers and writers, saw 27.4 million mobile visits, with an average mobile session lasting 18 minutes and 23 seconds.
The least successful sector in engaging mobile visitors are science websites, with the average mobile visit last only 1 minute and 40 seconds.
Joel Zand, SimilarWeb Digital Insights Analyst said: “We live in a multi-device world where the Internet is accessible almost everywhere we go. In the UK, most of the population uses a mobile device to access the web.
“For marketers, this behaviour can have quite an impact on how to reach an audience. Mobile web engagement is highly correlated to differences in industries.
“Benchmarking your own website’s performance against the industry, and understanding where you stand in relation to your competitors can help you build a better experience for your customers, and keep them coming back to your site.”