Mobile Traffic vs Desktop Traffic: Where Users Browse (2024)

Mobile Traffic vs Desktop Traffic: Where Users Browse (2024)

Mobile Traffic vs Desktop Traffic: Where Users Browse (2024)

In today’s world, more and more people are connected online. Recent data from Earthweb, up to 2024, shows that a staggering 5.47 billion people are using the Internet. This number keeps growing every year, with a particularly big jump of 6.2% compared to last year, which is the highest increase since 2019.


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For businesses, understanding what consumers prefer when it comes to navigation devices is crucial for shaping their digital marketing plans. Knowing where your users are navigating from helps in deciding the best communication and sales channels to reach your target audience.


When we compare mobile and desktop usage, important things to keep an eye on include whether users have a preference for one over the other, the pros and cons for users, and key browsing metrics such as conversion rates, average time spent on the site, and bounce rates.


Having this information enables companies to adjust their strategies according to user preferences and behaviors, ultimately maximizing their outcomes from a customer-focused approach.


Historical data on the origin of Mobile vs Desktop Traffic


The way people access the Internet has changed a lot from 2010 to 2024.


In 2024, over 60% of website visits are from mobile devices. Back in 2011, it was less than a third, at just 6.1%. By 2015, it had risen to 37.2%. The real shift towards mobile traffic started in 2017, and since then, it’s been steadily increasing, especially from 2020 to 2024. (Data from DataReportal)


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Mobile vs Desktop traffic, regional disparities in the world


Internet usage from mobile devices varies greatly across different regions of the world.


Africa and Asia stand out as regions where the majority of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, with rates of 69.13% and 65.2% respectively. In Europe and North America, the split between mobile and desktop traffic is more balanced, each accounting for 50% of the total traffic. Meanwhile, Oceania has the lowest reliance on mobile devices, with only 39.51% of internet traffic originating from mobile.


Looking specifically at European countries, Russia and Portugal have the lowest percentages of mobile internet traffic compared to desktop, at 30.2% and 34.12% respectively. On the other hand, Ireland and Poland lead the pack with higher percentages of mobile traffic, at 58.1% and 53.05% respectively. (Data from DataReportal)


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Hours per day of browsing per device (Mobile vs. Desktop) and per single user


Every day, people spend about 6.5 hours using the Internet, but this varies depending on age. Youngsters aged 16 to 24 spend around 2.5 hours more online compared to those aged 55 to 64.


Breakdown of the time spent online:


  • Nearly 4 hours daily on mobile phones.
  • Over 1 hour on desktop computers.
  • About 1 hour from smart TVs.


When it comes to mobile devices, by 2023, more than 90% of users preferred smartphones, while only 27.3% used tablets, and game consoles were used by just 12.7% of people. (Source: Forbes)


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Advantages and Disadvantages for users on the use of mobile traffic compared to desktop


It’s crucial to understand both the benefits and drawbacks of different devices for users to reach the right audience. This starts with studying their needs.


Based on data from Semrush, mobile users tend to spend less time browsing content. They prefer quick access to essential information, like in banking apps. Therefore, mobile content should be concise and immediately captivating.


When it comes to device usage, smartphones are the go-to choice for entertainment, such as games, music, and videos, as well as for using social media and shopping on e-commerce sites in certain markets. (Source: Mobile Ecosystem)


The advantages of mobile for users:


  • Get information instantly using personalized location services.
  • Easily find and get answers to your questions.
  • Have short, quick interactions with timely content.
  • Swiftly move between apps and websites.
  • Communicate effortlessly using various formats like text, video, photos, and GIFs.


Disadvantages of mobile for users:


  • Small screens might limit what you can see and how you enjoy the content.
  • There are many distractions.
  • It’s not simple to do many things at once or to dig deep into research.


Desktop users tend to spend more time engaging because they often look for detailed information, like news, research, or making purchases, which can take longer. They also tend to stay on pages longer and leave less quickly compared to mobile users. When it comes to social media, desktops are often favored for creating content, as they offer better tools for making high-quality graphics and more creative freedom.


The Benefits of Desktop for Users:


  • With a bigger screen, it’s easier to do detailed analysis.
  • You feel more involved in what you’re seeing.
  • You can do multiple things at once and use more than one screen,
  • which helps when you’re working on lots of tasks.
  • Desktops usually have more power and can do things faster.


The disadvantages of the desktop for users:


  • You can only use it in one place (can’t carry it around easily).
  • You need a set space and special things to use it.


User preferences and the most important KPIs


Customers often prefer using mobile devices in B2C sectors like e-commerce where purchases are quick and impulsive. This includes areas like food and beverage, household appliances, technology, and fashion. Since customers already know what they want to buy, they find the best deals directly on mobile.


Consider your target age group: if your customers are mostly young, like in the gaming industry, they’re likely to buy through mobile.


On the other hand, in B2B sectors, customers usually prefer using desktops because transactions need careful analysis. Desktops offer more time for browsing, higher chances of making a purchase, and less leaving the site without buying anything.


These include websites for buying construction materials, making industrial products, financial services, or booking travel. With bigger screens on desktops, it’s easier to see technical details and specific graphics. For industries like jewelry or watches, where customers are usually older, they prefer buying from desktops rather than mobile devices.


Here are some clear statistics on important KPIs:


  • Desktop users tend to look at more pages (3.95) compared to mobile (2.67) or tablet users (3.21).
  • In 2021, desktop users spent 40% more time browsing compared to mobile users.
  • According to Barilliance data from 2022, smaller screens have higher rates of people leaving before completing a purchase: 73.07% on desktops, 80.74% on tablets, and 86.65% on mobile devices.
  • In 2020, global mobile traffic had a bounce rate 52.11% higher than desktop and tablet traffic (
  • When it comes to conversions, desktops perform better than mobile devices, with a conversion rate of 3.7% compared to mobile’s 2.2%.


Mobile First, the mobile experience defines your existence on Google


No matter what industry you’re in, mobile devices are not just popular for browsing but also for making purchases. According to data from Merchantsavvy, in the United States alone, mobile transactions are expected to make up 44.2% of retail eCommerce sales, totaling $728 billion by 2025. Especially in Asian countries, paying with smartphones, known as proximity payments, is very common.


This shift has a big impact on the global economy. That’s why Google gives more importance to mobile user experience (UX) than desktop UX. Since 2018, Google has been prioritizing mobile-first indexing, meaning it mainly uses the mobile version of your website to rank and index pages.


That’s why it’s crucial for your company’s website, whether it’s for business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C), to be optimized for mobile users if you want to rank high in search results. Mobile-friendly optimization should focus on improving page loading speed, how fast users can scroll, and making content clear and simple. It’s also important to have special buttons that highlight important information, making it easy for users to find what they need.




It’s crucial for companies to have experts who can boost both desktop and mobile traffic metrics. A lot depends on your customer base: if you have many mobile users, focusing on mobile-friendly graphics is essential for your strategy. On the other hand, if desktop users are more common, investing in search advertising, Google Ads payment, SEO, and detailed, optimized website content to appear in search engine results (SERP) can give you an advantage.

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