We know that there is heavy competition for app users, as apps must first be discovered and then users retained (both of which are tough propositions in and of themselves). But how about mobile sites? As it turns out, a Nielsen study demonstrates that adults in the US visit more desktop sites than smartphone sites, but the gap is narrowing.
During May 2016, Nielsen found that adults visited an average of 55 PC sites, down from 61 the prior year and 62 the year before. By comparison, adults visited 44 smartphone sites, up from 38 in May 2015 and 36 in May 2014. In other words, the number of smartphone sites visited is increasing as the number of PC sites visited decreases – a fairly logical result given trends in digital media consumption.
The study also finds that the number of smartphone sites visited in a given month is almost 60% higher than the number of apps used, which also makes sense given the mobile web’s greater reach (but lesser engagement).
Looking at how these trends play out by race/ethnicity, the Nielsen report shows that Black Americans visit the highest number of smartphone sites per month (46.9), while Asian-Americans visit the highest number of PC sites per month (73.5). In an interesting twist, Hispanics diverge from the norm, averaging a higher number of smartphone sites (46.5) than PC sites (45.6), which likely reflects their heavy mobile device usage.
On an age basis, Millennials (18-34) visit the highest number of smartphone sites (46.9) on average, though there isn’t too great of a difference between that young cohort and the oldest (50+; 38.7 sites per month). Millennials visit the most smartphone sites across races and ethnicities, with the gap between youngest and oldest narrowest for Hispanics.
Not too surprisingly, the opposite is true for PC sites, with the 50+ bracket visiting the most on average (61.1) and the 18-34 group the fewest (48). However, Asian-Americans again show a different trend, with 18-34-year-olds visiting the most PC sites per month (63.6) and the 50+ group the fewest (54.1).