Consumer barometer: Explore our new mobile trends and audience insights

November 2015

It has been a year since we launched the new version of Consumer Barometer, our free, interactive consumer insights tool. To celebrate, we've added trended data on internet access and device usage going back to 2012[1], plus deep-dives into four global audience segments. Here are just a few of the insights we uncovered.

Mobile is no longer a choice, it's a necessity

Smartphone usage is reaching saturation in some markets - 100% of under 25s in Sweden now use a smartphone![2] In Turkey, smartphone usage has quadrupled in the last three years, growing from just 14% in 2012 to 56% in 2015.[3]

So it's no surprise that in many of the countries we surveyed, more than 80% of web users aged under 25 use their smartphones to go online at least as often as computers. More surprising is quite how rapidly this shift has occurred. In 2012, just 10% of Brazilians under 25 went online on a smartphone at least as often as on a computer, compared to a massive 81% in 2015. This behavioural shift is not confined to younger demographics. In Mexico, the number of web users aged over 55 using their smartphone to go online at least as often as they use a computer has jumped from 10% in 2012 to 38% in 2015.[4]

Multi-screening is also on the rise. In 2012, only 10% of people used three screens in the UK - in 2015 that has risen to 42%. In Poland, 19% of people now use three screens, compared to just 2% in 2012.[1]


Being present for the moments that matter on mobile is essential - increasingly brands need to ensure that they can engage with consumers seamlessly across all devices.

Mobile is crucial to research and purchase decisions

Using data from the Consumer Barometer, we took a closer look at four global audiences, Millennials, Digital Moms, Brand Advocates and How-To Video Users.[5] They all have one thing in common - the internet, now increasingly mobile, plays a crucial role in the research process.

Getting it right on mobile devices is key to engaging with Millennials, as 40% of them - over twice as many as those over 35 - researched their last purchase on a smartphone.* To be there in the moments that matter to them, brands need to understand that whatever the question, online is the answer.


Digital Moms are a well-informed and highly connected group who intensively research their purchases online. Smartphones are playing an increasingly important role in this process - 25% of Digital Moms used their smartphone to prepare for an immediate purchase, for example by searching for a local store.


Getting it right on mobile is also key to connecting with Brand Advocates in their 'I-want-to-buy' moments, as nearly one third of them use their smartphone to research something they are just about to buy in-store. This group is more active and more valuable than ever before - every single day, 50% of Brand Advocates comment or like posts and blog contributions.

Brand Advocates are familiar to most marketers, but there's another fast-growing group of highly active online consumers - How-To Video Users. Globally, two thirds of internet users watch online videos at least once a week, and 1 in 10 of those is typically watching do-it-yourself (DIY) or how-to videos. Delivering the right content on the right device at the right moment to connect with this audience can have a huge impact on purchase decisions - one third watch YouTube to find information on products they'd like to buy.

Use the Consumer Barometer to create your own bespoke insights!

Understanding and responding to the growth in the use of smartphones as a research and purchase tool is essential for many businesses. You can explore how this and similar insights relate to your customers through the Consumer Barometer.

  • Go to the Trended Data section to see how internet access and device usage have evolved over time across 56 countries;
  • Take a look at the Audience Stories section for deeper insights into Millennials, Digital Moms, Brand Advocates and How-To Video Users; and
  • Use the Graph Builder to build custom charts to explore device usage, online video viewing and the role of the internet in shaping preferences and purchase decisions across 20 product categories in over 50 countries.

Visit for insights to inform your marketing strategy and help you reach more customers with the right message, on the right device, in the moments that matter to them.

Sources (7)

1 Historical data ranges differ by country.
2 Minimum age of respondents: 16 years old
3 Total online and offline population
4 Internet users (accessing via computer, tablet or smartphone)
5 Audience segment definitions:
Millennials: Internet users 16-34 years old in all countries except Argentina, Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam and US (18-34) and Japan (20-34)
Digital Moms: Female Internet users with children under 18 in the household who made a purchase in select categories* in the prior 3 or 12 months.
Brand Advocates : Internet users who agreed with the statement "If there is a brand I love, I tend to tell everyone about it."
How-To Video Users: Internet users who watched a how-to video in the prior week OR Internet users who used an online video to research a purchase in select categories* in the past 3 or 12 months.

*Categories include: clothing or footwear, groceries, make-up (only women), physical / digital music, hair care products, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or vitamins, restaurant meals. Past 12-month categories includes: car insurance, cinema tickets, flight tickets (leisure), hotel stay (leisure), large home appliances, mobile phones or smartphones, TV sets, laptops & tablets, Do It Yourself (DIY) products, home furnishings, long-distance leisure ground travel, personal loan, real estate.)

** All data is from Google Consumer Barometer, 2014/2015. Data for the Consumer Barometer has been gathered by TNS, one of the world's leading market research companies, based on interviews with over 400,000 respondents across 56 countries.

That Friday feeling: How retailers can win Black Friday