Cross device and mobile: study reveals sectors dominated by different devices

Today’s consumers show distinct usage patterns on different devices over the course of a day and over the course of a week. As multi-device ownership continues to rise across the globe, it is crucial that brands and publishers optimize for this reality.

According to Verto Analytics data, device ownership varies significantly across demographics. Millennial women are some of the most cross-device consumers. Nearly a third (30 per cent) of women ages 26-35 own at least three devices, compared to just 11% of men the same age. However, this trend shifts considerably for Generation X: the number of men who own at least three devices jumps to almost 40 per cent of men ages 36-45, compared to 36 per cent of women. These profiles are key in analyzing what user spends the most time on which platform.

The Verto Analytics study measured the cross-device behaviour of nearly 5,000 UK adults reveals which sectors are most dominated by the different devices in terms of the time people spend visiting them.

The study shows that the health/fitness sector – such as Fitbit and the NHS – is the most dominated by smartphone usage. Smartphones account for 82 per cent of the time people spend visiting health/fitness sites and apps. People/family/lifestyle sites – such as Netmums and BBC Good Food – are the next most dominated by smartphone usage (69 per cent) followed by sports (63 per cent).

In contrast, property – such as Rightmove and Zoopla – is the only sector dominated by tablet usage: tablets account for 67 per cent of the time people spend on property sites. Technology (84 per cent) – such as telecom brands Virgin and BT – and government/law sites (83 per cent) are the most reliant on PC usage.

Sectors most reliant on different devices

“Media owners and advertisers must adapt their offering or behaviour to more accurately reflect how people are most likely to be visiting them,” says Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, Verto Analytics’ CEO. “Is the rush to embrace mobile, for example, right for you? Clearly it is for the likes of health, lifestyle and sports – while property seems absolutely made for tablets – but certainly not for government, law and telecoms sites. People still prefer to use PCs for these as it remains dominant for functional, practical type behaviour.”

Verkasalo points out that the news/weather sector “in particular, should take heed” of how their users access their content and not necessarily rush to target mobile, “publishers shouldn’t overlook that desktop still accounts for 65 per cent of the time people spend here, while mobile accounts for just 19 per cent.”

Entertainment, shopping and books least dominated by one device

In contrast, the entertainment sector – including the likes of YouTube, Netflix and Spotify – is the least dominated by any one device type, having the most even split in how people spend their time across the different devices: smartphones account for 39 per cent of entertainment time, not too far ahead of tablets (32 per cent) and PCs (29 per cent).

Alongside entertainment, the shopping and books sectors are the most likely to have a fairly even split between the time spent on different devices, which Verkasalo notes means these sectors are the most likely to “have their work cut out in perfecting their output across all devices, as opposed to those who can more afford to put their eggs in one basket.”

Verto Analytics presented their May webinar, Cross-Device and Mobile Consumers: Who Are They and Where Do They Spend Time?

Based on data from its latest report on cross-device consumer behavior, the webinar featured insights from one of Verto’s in-house data analysts and key takeaways for marketers, brands, and advertisers. Below are a few highlights from the webinar, which you can also listen to on demand.