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Mobile Vs. Desktop Advertising

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The customer journey is no longer as clear-cut as it was decades ago. There are more digital touchpoints available for your audience to interact with your brand, whether it’s through different channels such as websites and apps or via different devices.

It can be quite daunting to handle all of these points-of-contact and ensure that you capture your audience’s attention while nudging them toward the stage of the marketing funnel designed to convert them from prospects to paying customers.

For devices, you have desktop and mobile to think about. As you can see in Statcounter’s graph below, the market share between these two hovers around only a 10% difference, with last month being at 42.63% for desktop and 54.46% for mobile.

With that said, choosing which device to focus on boils down to user intent–the actions conducted by your audience while utilizing these devices.

User Intent

People pick up their phones or browse through their laptops for different purposes. It’s important to keep these purposes in mind in order to grab your leads’ attention the moment they are most engaged with your brand.


Mobile browsing and spending have hiked up due to the pandemic. In fact, 56% of mobile users search products on a weekly basis compared to 37% of desktop users. It’s expected to grow even further in the coming years. By 2025, mobile search advertising is forecasted to be $120 billion in value.

The main pull for mobile devices is their accessibility. Since people have their phones readily at hand 24/7 and use them repeatedly throughout their day, it’s a great medium for retargeting ads and discount alerts.

Here are some of the other most popular uses for mobile advertising:

  • “Near me” and other location-based searches
  • Quick purchases
  • Native advertising
  • e-Commerce


Although mobile is used for quick browsing, conversion from mobile traffic currently sits at only around 2.25%, compared to desktop traffic’s 4.81%. The difference becomes more marked for more expensive and high-value purchases. Majority of people use their desktops and laptops in order to do extensive research and complete their consumer journey.

In relation to this, the average website visit of a user typically lasts longer on desktops than on mobile. More details about the product and service are expected when it comes to this device. Ads for navigational queries or those who are looking for specific websites are thus highly effective on desktops.

Combining the Best of Both Worlds

As we have discussed in the previous newsletter which you can find here, people are doing more cross-device conversions than ever. Keep in mind that users are 1.4 times more likely to convert when they view your ad on separate devices. This means that you need to not only be present but also stand out on these specific platforms.

Both ad spending on desktop and mobile is expected to increase in the following years. Users might have different intentions when it comes to using these devices but as a business, you only have one goal–to get these prospects to convert.

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