A Google-commissioned study on smartphone usage has confirmed just how addicted we are to our devices and revealed how we use them to help make purchasing decisions.

The data, which were laid out by Google in detail during a webinar yesterday, revealed a ton of information about how we use the devices in general. A couple of takeaways were particularly interesting for businesses large and small.

Yeah, So We’re Addicted. So What?

For starters, 89% of smartphone owners use them on a daily basis, and many of them interact with their devices several times per day. People even said they’d rather give up such pleasures as chocolate, beer and cable TV than do without their treasured electronic companions. This is hardly shocking news, but it confirms just how connected smartphone owners are to their devices, a fact that has a slew of implications for marketers and businesses in general.

The research showed where (at home and on the go, mostly) and how people use their smartphones. Interestingly, more people (81%) said they browse the Web on their device than said they use native applications (68%). For ecommerce sites and other businesses, these numbers suggest that investing in one’s mobile-optimized Website could be more important than building native apps.

How Smartphones Help Us Buy Things

One thing for which people seem to use their iPhones, Blackberrys and Android devices quite a bit is shopping. Nearly 80% said they use their phones for shopping and shopping-related activities and 70% use their phones in stores.

Most people (67%) said they use their smartphone to do product research and then purchase an item in a store, followed by the 23% who research on their phones, check the product out in the store but then ultimately purchase it online.

The researchers also looked at what types of actions people take after conducting a mobile search. More than half (53%) ended up making a purchase and 68% visited a business online or in person.

Google Says Mobile Ads Work

People are far more likely to notice ads when using their smartphones than they are in many other circumstances. Eighty-two percent of respondents said they noticed mobile ads, and about half of them said they were likely to take some kind of action as a result, whether it be conducting more research or actually making a purchase.

The study was conducted by interviewing 5,013 U.S. adults (aged 18-64) about their phone usage. Although these results pertain to American users, a representative from Google said they’ve seen similar data in other countries.

For more details on the study’s findings, see this post on the Google Mobile Ads blog.