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Study: Most Americans online, mobile


As statistical revelations go, the fact most Americans use the Internet and mobile phones is not especially surprising, but still significant for omnichannel retailers.

According to the latest Global Media Intelligence Report from eMarketer, 80.8% of the U.S. population, or nearly 260 million people, will go online at least once a month in 2015.

In Canada, penetration will be almost as impressive, at 80.6%. Those figures place the U.S. and Canada ninth and 10th, respectively, in eMarketer's most recent global ranking for internet penetration. Within four years, 83.3% of residents in North America are expected to use the Web regularly.

About 80% of people living in the U.S. and Canada will also own at least one mobile phone and use it monthly in 2015, eMarketer estimates. In both countries, more 70% of all mobile users will have a smartphone.

One direct consequence of widespread smartphone and tablet use is vastly extended mobile internet access. About 60% of North America's residents, more than 215 million people, eMarketer projects, will use a mobile phone to gain access to the Web in 2015. Within three years, that share will rise to 70%. Western Europe, which ranks second globally in mobile phone internet penetration among the entire world population, is gradually closing the gap with North America but will not surpass it during the forecast period.

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