PITTSFIELD -- Did you know that one out of three people would rather give up sex than their mobile phone?

This was one of several similar statistics on instant gratification that was cited last week by the regional director of a digital marketing company to show how consumers’ buying habits have changed.

Nathan Ware, the regional director of AdTaxi Networks, discussed how mobile use is redefining the needs of businesses, particularly small businesses, at a Berkshire Chamber of Commerce function at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

AdTaxi Networks is a digital marketing company built to serve everyone from large media companies and agencies, to small local and regional businesses.

The mobile phone went on the market only seven years ago, but according to Ware, 95 percent of those who own one use it shortly before going to bed, while 90 percent sleep near their phones. Fifty percent of mobile phone users check their devices immediately after waking up.

That’s a lot of consumers.

"What this points to is an underlying change in our behavior," Ware said. "As business owners, we have to change and adapt to it."

Small business owners hoping to take advantage of these evolving mobile technologies need to learn how to draw consumers to their offerings, Ware said.

He said the average American household has at least four digital devices, and that the average person uses them for two hours per day.

"In the next two years mobile will pass television as the most used medium," Ware said.

The average user also checks their mobile phone about 150 times a day, he added,

"That provides you as business owners with many opportunities to reach people that you couldn’t seven years ago," Ware said.

To attract consumers to their products, Ware said business owners need to make their websites easy to access for consumers. He said 57 percent of mobile phone users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Ware also encouraged small business owners to make their websites easy to understand, and provide tools that enable consumers to take direct action.

"People want what they’re looking for right now," he said.

Mobile shoppers also tend to be impulsive, Ware said. Seventy percent tend to make a purchase within an hour after viewing a site, while 18 percent will purchase something within 24 hours.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski: TDobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com (413) 496-6224