different kinds of people using smartphones; mobile-first

The Mobile-First World: Marketing Across Multiple Devices

Google Research Confirms It’s a Mobile-First World. What Does this Mean for Marketers?

Mobile-first means that consumers are most often turning to their smartphones to get the answers they seek. Gone are the days of searching only on the computer.

Today we use multiple devices, sometimes concurrently, to browse the web, check social media, communicate, watch videos, and more. I know I’m guilty of using multiple devices at once.

But what does this trend mean for marketers? Let’s take a look at what Google found out in their research report “How People Use Their Devices.”


In today’s world, where answers are expected immediately, people are turning to the closest thing — their smartphones. On your average day, 80% of people aged 18-49 use a smartphone and spend an average of 3 hours per day on it.

Nearly 4 in 10 people search only on their smartphones, which has led to more searches happening on mobile than on computers. Due to this shift, Google has announced it is releasing a mobile-first index in the very near future.

A mobile-first index means that Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings shown to desktop users. Before this is released, it is crucial to optimize your website for mobile.

In addition to high mobile search volume, over a quarter of users only use a smartphone. If you aren’t prepared to reach customers on mobile, you are missing out on a 1/4 of your potential audience!

Multiple Touchpoints

There are now more ways than ever to engage with your audience. Google found that in addition to smartphone usage, on an average day, 67% of people use a computer and 16% use a tablet.

For many users, this involves a rotation between different devices. Throughout the day, 57% of people use more than one device, and when at home, 1 in 5 people use another device while also using a computer.

Regarding web browsing, almost everyone is doing it (94%), and 50% of people browse on more than one screen, mainly smartphones and computers.

With this fluid movement across screens, it’s important that marketers ensure their audiences are receiving the same great experience across any device.

Different Shopping Preferences for Different Devices

Google found great search growth for various industries over the past year, including 40% increases for Apparel and Consumer Electronics and a 45% increase for Home and Garden.

Possibly even more useful is that Google analyzed the fastest growing mobile search trends for each industry. Take a look below to see a sample of what is getting the highest Year Over Year search growth on mobile.

Beauty and Personal Care:

  • Makeup and Cosmetics – 50% growth
  • Perfumes and Fragrances – 40% growth
  • Skincare – 35% growth
Man holding smartphone with choose shirt on ecommerce website; mobile-first
Mobile search for apparel is up by 40% according to Google.


  • Petite Clothing – 80% growth
  • Coats – 55% growth
  • Sleepwear – 50% growth

Consumer Electronics:

  • Home Audio Equalizers – 80% growth
  • DVD Players – 60% growth
  • GPA Devices – 50% growth

Food and Beverage:

  • Prepared Foods – 55% growth
  • Restaurant Reservations and Booking – 55% growth
  • Online Grocery Shopping and Delivery – 50% growth

Home and Garden:

  • Decorative Throw Pillows – 85% growth
  • Kitchen Storage – 85% growth
  • Coffee Table and End Tables – 80% growth

Media and Entertainment:

  • Comics and Graphic Novels – 55% growth
  • Sci-Fi and Fantasy Films – 45% growth
  • Sports Scores and Stats: 50% growth

Want to Learn More about the Mobile-First World?

All of this data is good news for marketers. Knowing what devices consumers are using to interact with your brand enables you to deliver the best customer experience at all consumer touchpoints.

For more information on the mobile-first trend, check out the resources below:

Nicole E. Flynn, CMO at cielo24, is deeply interested in exploring and communicating the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with various aspects of our daily lives. She is passionate about exploring the ways in which AI can be ethically harnessed to improve the quality of life and make our world a better place. Nicole seeks to educate and inform audiences about the potential of AI technology and how it can be used to drive innovation and growth.