For the first time ever, Americans are using smartphone and tablet apps more than personal computers to access the Internet. At the beginning of this year the U.S. became an app majority, this means that not only are more people utilizing mobile devices to go online, but also more than half of Internet usage is connected through native applications or mobile optimized web browsers. In fact, apps made up 47 percent of Internet traffic and only 8 percent of traffic came from mobile browsers. Personal computer usage has declined to the minority at 45 percent, and while this isn’t the first time that mobile usage has exceed personal computer usage, it is the first time that internet connectivity through applications takes the lead.
What is causing the shift towards mobile?
A continued surge in smartphone and tablet sales is driving a change in consumer behavior. With the most recent reports stating that over 70 percent of U.S. mobile users are walking around with a smartphone in hand, that number is predicted to keep rising. Smartphones and tablets are lower in price than most personal computers making them more attainable to lower income levels, and as technology has and continues to evolve, many mobile devices have very comparable capabilities. As a result, numerous people are using mobile devices as their primary or sole access to the Internet. But, essentially it is the conveniences that mobile offers that continues to drive demand, and change consumer expectations about how they access information, pay bills and communicate with the world – be it email, Facebook post, tweet, or even the declining in use – phone call.
Why mobile apps?
People are choosing to use mobile apps over web browsers because they offer a more user-friendly experience. Since native mobile apps are developed specifically for the intended mobile devices operating system their capabilities are better suited to the device. Therefore, the experience is tailored to utilize device features such as GPS/location services, access to calendar, contacts and notification center. Essentially, it is an optimized communication channel and point of contact between biller and consumer.
Bill payment apps and mobile wallets are continuing to rise in popularity. With consumers demanding mobile and society shifting to an app majority – billers and organizations of all kinds should explore how then can develop an app that meets the needs of their consumers before they look to the competition.
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