Location based mobile marketing to improve in-store shopping


As retailers prepare for the back-to-school shopping season  on mobile, what buyers are searching for from an in-store shopping experience may not be precisely what they get.

According to a Rubicon Project survey comprising 1,500 interviews of parents, the back-to-school shopping season tends to start earlier every year. This year, many parents started shopping right at the beginning of Summer break.

mobile app shopping in-store

Most of the parents (60%) will do some shopping from a smartphone, of which (73%) are first time mobile shoppers.

The majority (68%) of parents are loaded with  retailer’s mobile apps, with Amazon being, once again, at the top:

  • 47% – Amazon
  • 33% – Walmart
  • 26% – Target
  • 19% – Ebay
  • 15% – Kohls
  • 12% – Macy’s
  • 11% JCPenney


67% of the respondents are using the retailer’s mobile app while shopping in the store but many of them are facing technological difficulties according to a recent study by RichReleva.

That’s exactly where location targeted message come in.


While in a store, fewer than 40% of the shoppers consider the custom messages they receive from the store as being an incentive to buy. On the other end, messages about  viewed product, sent after shoppers leave the store are considered positively by 79% of the respondents.


Location-based marketing message isn’t new and that precisely why retailer should focus on the quality of their messages to avoid degrading the shopping experience.


Unfortunately, there is no global solution as to when I the right time and what is the right content. It largely depends on the type of products, the type of store, the demographics of the audience, the time of the day…


There are also many reasons why a customer would get close to a store without intending to shop (going to work, shopping for another type of product).  In this case, messages can become counter productive as customers perceive the sender as an annoyance.


“Each area has its own shopping area,” Michael Hayes, UberMedia’s CMO, let me know yesterday.

The organization just launched a new mobile location platform that provide more efficient marketing tools to retailer looking to reach their customer during the in-store shopping experience.


“Shopping situations are unique by area,” Hayes said. “We understand that if you’re visiting several car dealer in a short in the same week, you may be shopping for a car and we are able to push the right message.”  The digital tag area then automatically adjusts for time of day and location-specific behavior, which is different for each location.

Those shopping areas are heavily documented with years of accumulated behavioral information, Hayes said, implying that if customers originate from three miles away, promotions won’t be served four miles away.

And it’s working.

For back-to-school shopping, half (47%) of the parents have taped on an Ad served through a mobile App in the preceding week, as indicated by the Rubicon Project study.