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How obsession offers opportunity for all businesses operating in the mobile space.

Last month I left my smart phone on the train and, as I watched it disappear into the distance, the only way to realistically describe how I felt would be ‘utterly bereft’. The phoneless hours following this were tough as I realised I couldn’t do anything I’d planned to do during that journey; important things like checking emails, returning calls and playing Candy Crush. It highlighted just how dependent I have become on my smartphone and got me thinking about the vast opportunity there is for businesses to get right to the heart of their target audience, through their obsession with mobile technology.

It’s not just me who is obsessed with my mobile; a study called ‘Touchscreen Life’ conducted by global research agency, Harris Interactive, revealed that almost nine in ten people (86%) are either always checking their smartphone or using it ‘a lot’ during the average day. Further to this, nearly half (46%) of smartphone owners and over half (55%) of tablet owners are concerned about their overreliance on the devices.

As a result of – and perhaps arguably the cause of – our love for mobile technology, business services are steadily becoming completely mobile-friendly, from shopping to TV to gaming. Most of what we were confined to doing at a desk is now possible on the move – retailers are developing mobile sites that are easier to navigate on smaller screens, and many businesses are creating easy-to-use apps as a way to better reach and engage their target audiences on the go.

However, some businesses still haven’t fully embraced mobile technology and this not only gives them an old-fashioned image, but could also affect their profit margin significantly. According to Econsultancy for example, 36% of consumers agree that most mobile websites are hard to navigate, with 38% saying they’d stop using that site if it was difficult to use. Indeed, I have on more than one occasion terminated a purchase because I couldn’t navigate an ecommerce site well on my mobile.

When I lost my phone last month, I realised how reliant I am on mobile technology, and reviewing the market research, it seems that I’m not the only one. As our obsession continues to grow, a vital ingredient for success is offering exceptional mobile services on the go, at the touch of a button, and businesses that engage effectively with their audiences in this way will undoubtedly gain the competitive edge.

Jocelyn Medhurst