Ofcom’s latest media report highlights importance of mobile-enabled communication to businesses

Ofcom has published its latest annual report outlining internet and online content usage – based on data collected throughout 2016.  The findings show just how essential the internet has become to the way people in the UK communicate, bank, shop and find information.

Eighty-eight per cent of all adults now have internet access at home, with 42% regarding their smartphones as their most important online device.

72% of adults own a smartphone.  And although the use of smartphones is largely static, with no significant increase, because adults use computers less frequently they are proportionally more likely to use a smartphone to go online – 66% vs 62%.

Desktop computer ownership dropped to just 29% in 2016.

The report also clearly shows that older generations are catching up with young people in their use of mobile devices. Smartphone usage among people over 65 has increased sharply between 2015 and 2016 up from 28% to 39%.

Use of tablets to go online increased from 45% to 49% (2016), with adults over 65 showing the largest increase in tablet usage up from 39% to 51%.

A quarter of all adults will only use mobile devices, rather than computers, to go online. So it’s clear that if retailers have not yet given serious consideration to ensuring websites work well on phones and tablets, then they need to make it a priority.

Businesses that only have websites may also want to look at social media for customer engagement too.  Seventy-six per cent of adults have a social media profile.  Facebook remains the most popular with 95% of social media users having an account (unchanged since 2015), but users now tend to have a greater mix of accounts ― Instagram 31%, YouTube 30%, Pinterest 12%.

You can read the full report on Ofcom’s website: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data