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Australians already spend a large percentage of their time online, interacting on social media and spending on online shopping, but these figures are set to grow even further in the next few years, highlighting yet again the importance of having a working mobile website.
A new report by IBISWorld looks at how the average Australian spends their leisure time, attempting to predict how this will change by 2025, and everything points to the internet becoming even more entrenched in our everyday lives.
Not only will we be using the internet more, but we will be using it constantly on the go - at the gym, on the train, from our beds and even, at our kids soccer games.
How Australians spend their week
Currently, the average Australian citizen has around 78.1 leisure hours a week, an increase from 76.4 hours in 2000.
While the amount of leisure hours we have isn’t expected to change too drastically come 2025 (reaching 78.5 hours per week), IBISWorld Australian general manager Karen Dobie says the percentage of this time that is spent shopping online, interacting on social media sites and downloading movies and TV is set to change.
Over the past ten years there's been a huge shift in how Australians use their leisure time largely due to the mounting influence of the internet, social media and e-commerce.
In 2013, typical Australians will spend more than 20 leisure hours online, up from 18.3 in 2010 – with social media and shopping taking up most of that time, a trend we expect to continue right through to 2025.
When we're not online, we'll be eating out, playing sport, hitting the gym and watching television and movies – although much of the latter will be done online via streaming and downloads.
How Australians spend their weekend
Google has also released new research about how Australian’s are using the internet, focusing specifically on how smartphones devices are used over the weekend.
The research found that not only will 74% of Australians not leave home without their smartphone, but mobile and tablet queries have grown by 138% since last year, with 40% of all shopping related Google searches now coming from a tablet or smartphone.
When breaking down the mobile internet day, it seems most morning queries are dominated by weather searches, followed by banking and travel.
Saturday afternoons are dedicated to sport searches, just like in actual life, and in the evenings Australians turn to their phones for restaurant and food suggestions.
Saturday and Sunday nights are also dedicated to keeping tabs on our numerous online social profiles.
The research shows how heavily Australians rely on their mobile devices for internet and Jason Pellegroni, head of mobile ads for Google Australia, emphasises that having a good mobile website is not just a box marketers can tick off anymore.
It affects the way you plan your whole campaign.
This is what advertisers and marketers need to get right this year. They have to prioritise multi-screen and build digital-led content and campaigns that work across all screens.
Where to now
Australia is one of the most smartphone-friendly countries in the world and with more than 2 million people using their mobile phones to access the internet each month, it is vital that each and every business has a fully functioning mobile site.
The IBISWorld report shows that the average Australian spends over 25% of their weekly leisure hours on the internet, whether this is shopping or tweeting, which is a huge chunk of time.
Likewise, Google’s latest research shows just how reliant we have become on mobile devices. Essentially, if you don’t have a website that works well on mobile devices in 2013, you will be missing out - on customers, on brand opportunities and ultimately, on money.
Creating a mobile version of your existing website doesn’t have to be hard, and if you’re still yet to do so, consider these three elements.
1. Re-assess your design. Create a new layout that will show well on nearly all phones on the market and make it easy to navigate, minimising the number of taps needed to access information.
2. Leave out flash. While flash technology looks great on laptops and desktops, Apple’s iPhones and iPads don’t allow it to be shown, meaning a large proportion of your visitors will be faced with blank space on their screens.
3. Drop the pounds. You will want your page to load quickly and to do that you need to omit anything that isn’t essential. Use less copy, adjust the layout and don’t clutter.