Web Vs. Mobile Study by Praveen Kopalle Shows Vast Differences in Usage

For Immediate Release: October 17, 2013
Contact: Tuck: Kim Keating, 603-646-2733; Mobilewalla: Andrea Kaplan, 917-836-2741

67% Say Greater Immersion In Mobile But Higher “Fragmentation of Sessions”

A new study by researchers at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College on the behavioral differences between how people interact with computers (laptop, desktop) and mobile devices (smartphone, tablets) reveals that the typical consumer, on a daily basis, performs an average of 8.0 sessions on a mobile device and 2.16 on a computer-based browser. However, the average session on a mobile device lasts about 15 minutes while on a computer it lasts approximately two hours.

Praveen K. Kopalle, PH.D, professor of marketing at Tuck and the lead researcher on the study, says “This study has profound implications for how advertisers target consumers. One of the major reasons consumer behavior is qualitatively different on mobile devices than on large screen devices is how they are used. The consumer uses large screen devices for web browsing, while mobile devices are used for two kinds of interactions: browser-centric and app-centric, with apps accounting for a majority of mobile usage.”

Dr. Kopalle and his team found that the two largest disparities in mobile vs. display browsing behavior were the Duration of Undivided Attention (DUA) and engagement or immersiveness. The duration of undivided attention, the amount of time users are attentive to online advertisements is 47.5% higher on a computer than on a mobile device.  Also, a total of 63.1% of the survey respondents found that content on mobile devices is as immersive or more than on a computer. Of those, 67.2% believe that immersiveness is greater on a mobile device relative to a computer.

An important conclusion of the study, says Dr. Kopalle is that users are doing primarily information seeking tasks (email, search, news) on the computer, while they are doing “life tasks” on mobile (games, chat, banking, recipes).

The survey respondents were less likely to click on an ad that appear on a mobile device versus a computer. The top four reasons are:

  • 72% said the size of the screen is too small
  • 70% responded that they are usually busier doing something else with their device
  • 69% say it is not easy to return to the original position after click
  • 60% said it is less convenient to access the Internet on a mobile phone.

Anindya Datta, Ph.D., CEO of Mobilewalla, the Seattle-based mobile analytics firm which measures audience behavior for advertisers, explains, “Non-related content delivered during a life task session on mobile is 70% less likely to resister with a consumer than in an information-seeking session. For advertisers to plan successful campaigns targeting mobile consumers, they will need to focus on coverage on volume not the intent-based advertising strategies that have been used in display.”

Dr. Datta explains, “Intent-based advertising used in display will not work in mobile, which as a medium has powerful potential offering advertisers more engaged users than display. The crucial differences in behavior show that ad campaigns must be planned in a new way.  What is important is wide audience coverage done through demographic targeting not content-based advertising.”

About the Methodology
The survey was conducted by researchers at Dartmouth with collaborators at the University of Texas at Austin, with randomly selected Amazon’s Mechanical Turks and the sample size was 200. A total of 425 of the respondents were male, the average age was 30. A total of 37% had a college degree and 39% had some college education, with an average income of $52,500.

About Mobilewalla
Mobilewalla is a Seattle-based big data venture that supplies app intelligence and audience measurement data to its clients for the mobile application marketplace. A deep search, discovery and app analytics engine incorporating breakthrough technology, Mobilewalla was founded by CEO Anindya Datta, the reputed technologist with contributions to the state of the art in databases and Internet systems. Mobilewalla brings real-time analytics necessary to operate in the mobile world. For more information, please visit mobilewalla.com or go to facebook.com/mobilewalla.

Founded in 1900, Tuck is the first graduate school of management in the country and consistently ranks among the top business schools worldwide. Tuck remains distinctive among the world's great business schools by combining human scale with global reach, rigorous coursework with experiences requiring teamwork, and valued traditions with innovation.