We can predict already that 2015 is going to be a staple year for online advertising, as marketers continue to adopt creative and sophisticated digital strategies for mobile. Already, 28% of mobile users are using their devices to shop online, a percentage which still continues to grow each year. Small businesses that are not taking advantage of the latest digital technologies to improve their marketing efforts are falling behind their larger, bigger businesses competitors. By embracing digital mobile technology, smaller businesses can begin to understand and engage their customers better.

But without an understanding of customer expectations, how can businesses engage through this medium?

With another 30% growth expected from those users using mobile to shop online, smaller businesses need to become aware that technology is cross-functional, and that they can indeed still compete against the larger businesses if they embrace the right technology in the right way. To understand this they must firstly become aware of how mobile is influencing consumer behaviour and shopping habits.  Understanding that 18% of consumers will shop online for computers and electronics, it’s essential that smaller businesses display their best tech-gadgets within an online space with quick and easy purchasable options – albeit this being reserve in store, or home delivery. Browsing in store and browsing on mobile online is often done simultaneously; by understanding the psychology of the mobile shopper and what guides their purchasing decisions both in-store and online (the two often being connected) retailers can understand how to implement targeted and interactive mobile technology within the store to amplify the experience and steer shoppers towards making a purchase – regardless of whether that purchase is made via mobile payment options or at the tills. The rapid shift to digital is providing businesses, particularly those in the consumer industry, more opportunities than ever before to connect and engage with their customers. Mobile technology is a great facet to help a smaller businesses voice get heard within a crowded market, presuming they remember to use technology cross-functionally. Larger and more corporate companies with a wider breadth of departments, often take a fragmented approach to adopting digital technology; often failing to integrate their digital marketing efforts with back-end processes such as inventory and customer service.

How does mobile influence consumer behaviour and shopping habits?

By focusing on the ways in which mobile influences shopping behaviour and habits, this ensures more efficient and impact ways to engage customers. It’s essential to remember that mobile is an asset, not a challenge. The key to unlocking this asset lies in learning how your customer behaviour has changed because of digital technology – as this continues to be an evolving trend to which smaller businesses need to be one step ahead of. Smaller businesses will benefit from understanding how their audience behave online. BuzzCity reports that 63% of shoppers use their smartphone while in-store. Too many retailers assume each channel is used in isolation, but as marketer futurologists have been stating for a while – the omnichannel and multiscreen audience is here and now. If smaller businesses can get on board the trend of using digital mobile technology in store for their customers, they can adopt a winning formula to compete against their bigger competitors.