Mobile marketers will be glad to learn that the majority of smartphone owners turn to their devices while shopping, and local mobile marketing drives results.

A recent study from Google, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users, reveals that 79 percent of smartphone owners use their mobile devices while shopping. For local marketers, this means the majority of connected on-the-go consumers are accessible via mobile marketing.

The study concludes that smartphones have become the “ultimate shopping companion.” Ninety-five percent of smartphone owners look for local information via their devices. A whopping 88 percent of these consumers take action within the same day when they find useful local info via their smartphones.

More than half (54 percent) use smartphones to find retailers, and 70 percent use smartphones while they are in stores to help with purchase decisions. Plus, more than one-third (34 percent) search for in-store inventory. This speaks to the recent development of product search in Google Places, and marketers may want to take advantage of the opportunity to post their inventories online via Google (especially since Google Places drives the majority of traffic to local business sites).

Local mobile marketing drives sales, the study found. More than three-quarters of smartphone owners (74 percent) say they have made purchases based on smartphone searches. Seventy-six percent have made in-store purchases because of smartphone searches, while 59 percent have made online purchases and 35 percent have made purchases directly via their phones.

Looking for the best way to reach out to mobile local audiences? The study found that 81 percent of smartphone users browse the mobile internet each week and 77 percent use search engines regularly. Local SEO campaigns may help drive organic traffic to nearby businesses' sites.

An SEO approach may help consumers feel at ease about their privacy. Although 49 percent of Google's respondents say they have clicked on a mobile ad, recent developments may make smartphone users anxious about local targeting. As Brafton has reported, recent buzz about the Apple/ Android “Locationgate” scandal has many consumers worried about how they are being locally tracked.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.