Most retailers use mobile location to boost store traffic

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  • Most retail marketers (71%) have some sort of location strategy to drive foot traffic and trigger location-based mobile advertising, according to a study by Blis, researcher WBR Insights and Future Stores. Those who have this type of strategy report a greater lift in store visits and overall conversions through the location-based strategies like retargeting, proximity tools like geofencing and beacons and marketing automation, the study found.
  • Half of the retailers in the study said they use location-based insights for real-time targeting to engage nearby consumers when they might be more receptive to receiving mobile promotions.
  • Most retailers also provide location-based resources for customers, including local product or inventory search (60%), interactive maps (65%), localized social media accounts (60%) and localized online customer service (51%), per the study.


Location-based strategies that depend on mobile technology are growing more popular among retailers as brick-and-mortar shops have faced a tumultuous several years while vying with e-commerce companies like Amazon for a share of consumer spending. These location-triggered efforts can help to drive customers to stores with specialized promotions or discounts that inform the customer and create a sense of urgency.

This joint study supports other research showing the importance of location-based marketing. A majority of marketers (82%) plan to boost their use of location data in the next two years to seek greater insights into how consumers interact with businesses, according to a separate study by 451 Research and Cuebiq. About three out of four (72%) respondents said knowing how customers spend time in the real world would be useful in planning marketing campaigns, while 65% said mapping the offline journey toward a purchase decision helps them to understand customer behavior and brand affinity.

Mobile location data offers the possibility to gather real-time information about consumers through their smartphone, rather than trying to infer attributes and behaviors from other sources like store data, census surveys and IP addresses. Because of these possibilities, this type of marketing is on the rise. BIA Advisory Services previously told Mobile Marketer that location targeting drove $17.1 billion in ad spend in 2017, accounting for 38% of the $44.8 billion spent in mobile. That number will double by 2022 to $38.7 billion, the company forecasted. However, new GDPR regulations have raised questions for vendors and marketers around the scope of limitations surrounding consumer data collection.

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