Tracking Mobile Shoppers: Consumers Want to Know Why

It’s well known in mobile commerce circles that smartphone technology tracking is light years ahead of where it was just a few years ago.

At the most rudimentary level, consumers can be tracked as they drive or walk by a store.

When in a store, their movements and traffic patterns can be mapped and analyzed, with repeat visits identified. Messages can be sent to their smartphones based on past preferences or as they near particular products. And more.

Marketers increasingly are gaining additional capabilities to market to mobile shoppers, using a wealth of accumulated and real-time data.

The obvious question is what and how much of this do consumers want.

Based on a new, three-country study, the majority (76%) of those with a smartphones are not comfortable with retailers tracking their in-store movements though smartphones and Wi-Fi simply because they are not aware of why they are being tracked.

The challenge for retailers is to clearly show what value they provide to shoppers by using the location and tracking data.

In one indicator that merchants are not yet there, the study found that the majority (55%) of consumers don’t prefer when stores and brands keep track of their purchases to help provide promotions that match preferences.

The study by SDL is based on a survey of more than 4,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia to determine data and privacy preferences of consumers.

While the study found that the majority (62%) of consumers are worried about how personal information is being used for marketing, most (79%) would be more likely to provide personal information to a trusted brand.

The first step in mobile shopper tracking may need to start with a conversation between the tracker and the trackee.

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