2016 was a year for milestones in mobile. It was also a year for impressive growth in a number of sectors. Retail apps saw impressive growth across the board while smartphone adoption and time spent online with a device both saw consistent increases. Every one of these mobile growth stats helps cement the fact that every small business must take its mobile strategy seriously in order to thrive.

20 Incredible Mobile Growth Stats From 2016

There are Over 1 Billion Active Apple Devices Worldwide

“Active” is the key word here. That means the device has to be actively used and communicate with another device or the cloud. What does this mean for you as a small business owner? It means that even if you don’t have an iPad or an iPhone, as much as one-third of your customers do. You have to make sure that whatever you send out, be it an app or an email widget, is compatible with their devices and vice versa. The smartphone majority is still largely Android-based.

26% of Consumers Start Up an App When They Need Something

Search is increasingly mobile-based. Today, one in four searches will commence in an app. It could be someone looking for a new restaurant, a deal, a new gym, somewhere to meet up with friends, or a new home. The point is, you need to be registered where your business is likely to be found. That means figuring out which apps your customers – current and potential – use.


72% of All Americans Often Get News on a Mobile Device

If your primary demographic is aged anywhere between 18 and 49, half of them will get the majority of their news online. Of those that do, another half (or roughly ¼ of the total audience) will get their news from a mobile device almost exclusively.

80% of Internet Users Access the Internet Through a Smartphone

At any one time, for every five people that browse the internet four of them are using a smartphone. In short, if your website looks awkward on mobile, you should really get that fixed asap. The longer you wait, the more customers you’re scaring away. And further, you might consider getting an app. Just because someone is connected to the internet doesn’t mean they’re spending time on a website.

90% of Time Spent on Mobile is in Apps

Out of the average 4 hours and 42 minutes that the average American spends looking at his/her phone every day, only about 28 minutes are spent not in an app. If you want a customer to engage with your brand for longer than that, the statistics suggest you should invest in an app. Today, the best app makers are making it easy and affordable for businesses to build a custom mobile app.

Only 48% of Searches Start on a Search Engine

More and more of the web is being viewed through apps. So much so that over a quarter of searches are entered directly into apps rather than search engines.

Shoppers Spent 30 Million More Hours on Shopping Apps Over Black Friday

In 2016 time spent in shopping apps grew by over 20%. Over the week of Black Friday alone, shoppers spent more than 85 million hours shopping in apps, 30 million more than in 2015.

50% of Mobile Users Check Notifications as Soon as They Wake Up

If you have an app with time-sensitive notifications, you know that it’s frequently more effective than your email campaigns. Notifications are seen first, before breakfast and all of the day’s decisions start piling on.

61% of Google Users Won’t Return to Your Site if it Performed Poorly on Mobile

If you try to enter a site from Google on your phone and it shows up distorted, only loads halfway, or never loads at all, somehow you manage to remember never to click on it again. Or, if you don’t remember it that way, more than 6 out of 10 people will. If you want to make the best impression on every single potential customer- check to see what your website looks like on mobile. If something is strange, fix it.

52% of Businesses with a Mobile Presence Use the Same Template

Your app should not be the same thing as your mobile website. Yes, it should have a similar presence, but having the same feel and features means that you’ve missed the point of an app. If that sounds like your business, it’s not too late to change. If you don’t know how to build an app, you can build a feature rich app for your business using an app builder.

79% of Mobile Phone Users Check Email on Their Phone First

On its own, this might not seem like an Earth-shaking statistic. However, you should also know that 70% of those users will delete an email, no matter how seemingly relevant, if it renders poorly on their mobile device. The lesson? Don’t use mobile-incompatible templates (and know the difference).

By 2018, 4 out of 5 Email Users Will Only Use a Mobile Device

That’s only one more year. If you haven’t been paying attention to how your emails display on mobile, or you thought it would just look the same, now is the time to pay attention- before it’s too late.

52% of Smartphone Owners Keep Their Phone Within Arm’s Reach 88% of the Time

Feel like you need to keep in constant contact with the members of your organization? Need to make sure a patient is notified of an impromptu appointment? Sending a mobile notification or even a text couldn’t give you better odds.

72% of Smartphone Owners Check Their Device at Least Once and Hour

With the number jumping up to 86% checking their phones more than four times a day. There has never been a better way to let your customers know exactly what’s going on when they need to know it.

Global Mobile Ad Spending in 2016 – $101 Billion

$40 billion of that was targeted at US consumers alone. Worldwide spend is predicted to double by 2019 to over $200 billion. The majority of that will still be US based, followed by China and the UK.

88% of Consumers Who Search for a Local Business or Service Call or Visit Within 24 Hours

It’s important to remember that local businesses benefit just as much if not more than online retailers from mobile marketing. That marketing doesn’t just extend to your branded app either. Making your presence known to other apps and search engines are still vital.

64% – Smartphone Conversion Rates are Up Compared to Desktop

Mobile marketing still results in a better return compared to other methods. According to these and other stats, those profits will continue to grow.

77% of App Users Prefer Social Logins to Traditional Passwords

In fact, 64% of users that forget their password won’t even bother to set up a new one- they’ll just leave. Autofill via a social account or another service also increases the likelihood of a conversion or completed transaction.

64% of Pinterest’s Referred Traffic Comes from a Mobile Device

Social networks are an excellent means of attracting more customers and traffic- but plenty of companies focus solely on Facebook or Twitter. Pinterest is worth looking into is you plan on appealing to a broader mobile market.

4.77 Billion: The Number of Active, Global Smartphone Users by the End of 2017

If the first 19 mobile growth stats on this list haven’t convinced small businesses to take mobile seriously, this one should. The number of smartphone users isn’t set to shrink anytime soon. There are only 7 billion people in the world, nearly 2/3 have access to a smartphone on a regular basis. That far outnumbers those with a PC or other device.


Andrew GazdeckiAndrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. We’re a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android & HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of us as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of our customers are mobile app resellers — marketing or design agencies that use our platform to cost effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.