Google recently released the results of a study to better understand smartphone consumer behaviour. The results are indicative of one thing – mobile usage has taken off and is a heavy influencer of everyday shopping behaviour.

The convenience of having a mobile device with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week results in 95% of users accessing local information from their smartphones. More importantly 79% have used their phones for shopping related activities, and a staggering 74% made a purchase as a direct result of using their smartphone.

Tech-savvy shoppers are using their smartphones to find specific products and brands, and check for inventory at stores near them. In fact, according to Google’s study 78% search store information (location, hours, directions), 69% search product Information (reviews, comparisons, prices), 52% contact a retailer (phoned, emailed), and 48% search offers and discounts (coupons, deals).

These findings are consistent with the usage of ShopToIt’s mobile app for iPhone – Canada’s first mobile shopping application. Our users access the app on average of 5x per month and view in excess of 9 pages at a time, clearly supporting another fact – Canadians are quickly consuming specialty apps for a proprietary experience that is way more efficient than a mobile search on the web.

Indeed, search engines are currently inconsistent in matching product searches with local results in the mobile experience, and traditional directories fall short with limited product and brand association. As a result, mobile search can be a frustrating and expensive undertaking that doesn’t effectively address a shopper’s desire to find a local store to buy a product. This will change with time as businesses adopt mobile friendly solutions, but with the boundless prospects that today’s mobile consumption offers, it is clear that having a mobile strategy will be a game changer for all retailers.