Recent research from comScore reveals 65.8 million Americans own smartphones, and this growing audience could be valuable for brands looking to attract nearby shoppers. Building on the evidence that marketers must deliver mobile, location-friendly content, statistics relayed by eMarketer suggest that mobile shopping is moving toward the mainstream.

The report considers data from comScore and Chadwick Martin Bailey. Both research organizations found that smartphone users look for store locations via their smartphones. Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 58 percent of respondents user their smartphones while shopping to find businesses in the area, and comScore says finding nearby stores is the top shopping activity among smartphone users – cited by 49 percent of respondents.

Both firms’ research suggests m-commerce is gaining ground. Chadwick Martin Bailey found nearly one in five smartphone users (17 percent) make purchases, whereas comScore says 28 percent of smartphone shoppers purchase items online.

These studies only consider smartphone owners; marketers should remember that tablet users also contribute to mobile shopping and represent a valuable audience. Just yesterday, Brafton reported that mobile content reaches tablet users – and marketers should plan campaigns for mobile audiences accordingly.