Mobile Pushes 2016 Online Holiday Spending Above $80 Billion
The final numbers are in, and comScore determined that $80.2 billion was spent online during the November-December 2016 holiday season, up 17 percent year-over-year, and right in line with comScore’s early season prediction of 16-19 percent growth. While comScore previously released its holiday sales estimates from desktop computers, today it revealed for the first time that mobile commerce grew 44 percent from a season ago, with $17.1 billion spent via smartphones and tablets. M-commerce accounted for a 21-percent share of the season’s total digital sales, up from 17 percent in 2015, as more people become comfortable making their holiday purchases on mobile devices.
U.S. Smartphone Penetration Surpassed 80 Percent in 2016
While this statistic tells us what we already knew – that smartphones are everywhere – it gives us some perspective as to how prevalent these devices have become since they first began to gain adoption a little more than a decade ago. Five years ago that penetration figure was roughly half of what it is today at 42%, and it’s hard to believe that when the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, only 6% of the population had smartphones.
Smartphone Usage Has Doubled in the Past Three Years
The last two years, in particular, have seen some interesting shifts in digital media consumption. Since December 2014, smartphones have driven all of the growth in digital media usage, as desktop and tablets have both experienced modest declines. This is remarkable because desktop usage had remained stable for a long time, even after the introduction of the smartphone, but only recently has it begun to decline.
Bringing Context to This Week’s Methbot News
When news about Methbot broke this week, it understandably sent waves of concern and confusion through the industry. However, while headlines suggest this is a major new phenomenon that has gone unnoticed by third-party measurement providers, that is not the case. To help contextualize this news, I offer three points to keep in mind when thinking about Methbot: