The latest quarterly Insights report from JiWire indicate that 79 percent of on-the-go consumers are comfortable making purchases with their mobile devices.

The latest quarterly Insights report from JiWire indicate that 79 percent of on-the-go consumers are comfortable making purchases with their mobile devices. For mobile marketers, this is just the latest in a series of recent developments that indicates marketing to on-the-go shoppers can result in sales.

JiWire, an interactive media group, studied consumers' behaviors across more than 315,000 WiFi locations and surveyed more than 5,000 mobile users from January to March 2011. The study concludes that mobile shopping leads to sales via smartphones and tablets, as well as in-store purchases.

Consumers claim they are now increasingly comfortable buying items via their mobile devices, and 20 percent of users' mobile research resulted in purchases made directly via their devices during Q1 2011. In fact, one in five respondents even say they would buy merchandise worth more than $500 via their phones and tablets.

Mobile marketing that doesn't translate into direct sales via smartphones still impacts purchase decisions. Forty percent of mobile users research products and services via their phones before making online purchases (up from 19 percent in Q4 2010), and 31 percent conduct mobile research before buying items in-store.

These findings support Brafton's earlier report that Google found mobile marketing drives sales. The search giant's figures are even more impressive, suggesting that 74 percent of smartphone owners make purchases based on mobile research. (Notably, Brafton has reported that Google is coming out with a mobile payment service that may encourage more mobile shopping behavior.)

Since Google says that 77 percent of smartphone owners use search engines each week, marketers should consider that mobile SEO – and local search engine optimization in particular – might help them attract customers.

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.