Retail TouchPoints: Forrester Research Highlights Impact of Location-Based Marketing
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
A recent Forrester Research survey indicated that 114 million U.S. smartphone users employ check-in services. Forrester predicts that number will grow to 159 million by 2015.
Since its inception in 2008, check-in technologies have continued to evolve. Developed to entice users into sharing location information, they have shifted focus to include customized offers based on purchase history and are moving to loyalty rewards, said Forrester’s Senior Analyst Peter Sheldon during a recent webinar titled, “Changing the Game in the Retail Store Through Your Own Branded Mobile Experience.”
Mr. Sheldon noted the four phases of this evolution:
- Phase 1 (2008 to 2009): All About Location. Check-in services such as foursquare used games and competition to induce users to login and share location information.
- Phase 2 (2009 to 2011): Rise of Basic Incentives. Seeking reward for their behavior, consumers accepted basic deals as the price for willingness to take action (e.g., scan a product bar code, make a purchase, etc.).
- Phase 3 (2011 to 2012): Emergence of “Smart” Deals. Consumers are starting to expect personalized, customized offers based on behavioral preferences and purchase history.
- Phase 4 (2013 on): Focus on Repeat Business and Customer Loyalty. Check-in services are inherently customer loyalty tools. By definition, they reward shoppers for repeatedly patronizing establishments.
Forrester survey results indicated check-in users are “social” shoppers, open to receiving social influence via Facebook or Twitter and more likely to research and purchase products online. Half (50 percent) of the check-in users surveyed said they only visited a store after receiving offers via their mobile device. Another 47 percent of check-in users purchased a new product or service in-store after reading friends’ status updates on social networking web sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Based on the demographics of the study, check-in users are an appealing segment to retailers. This group typically uses social networks such as Facebook, foursquare and Shopkick, and has a greater average annual income and higher education degrees,” noted Mr. Sheldon.
Discussion Questions: What types of offers, incentives or rewards do you expect will drive mobile check-ins for retailers in the years ahead? Ideally, how should the location-based marketing opportunity evolve for retailers?