Consumers Agree To Mobile Location Tracking For Specific Reasons

Marketers have work to do when it comes to convincing consumers to use their GPS on their mobile phones to track their location to deliver relevant information and offers in real-time.

PunchTab surveyed more than 1,000 consumers from April 18-April 21, 2014 to learn how consumers feel about brands tapping into their phones. Some 50% of consumers expressed privacy concerns as a reason for not wanting brands to track their locations. About 27% are likely to allow tracking for the right benefits.

Despite privacy concerns, 88% of survey participants said they would share their locations for coupons and offers; 72%, for shorter checkout times; and 69%, targeted alerts about sales and products they like. Fifty-eight percent said they would value getting their points status or rewards availability via their mobile device.

Men and women have similar thoughts on brands and retailers tracking them through the GPS on their mobile phones. While 25% of men are likely of very likely to be open to mobile tracking, 29% of women feel the same way. Some 53% of men said they are not likely or not at all likely to allow mobile tracking, whereas 47% of woman said the same.

The report also analyzes the type of retailers that men and women are most likely to allow mobile tracking. Among those who were positively inclined toward tracking, 84% preferred superstore retailers; 78%, department stores; 74%, grocery stores; and 60%, home improvement stores.

Of those who are likely to allow tracking, 58% like the benefit of getting real-time updates on how many points they have in the store's loyalty program and whether or not they have any rewards available to use on their current shopping trip.

Marketers should focus on customers who are "positively inclined toward mobile tracking and let these early adopters drive consumer acceptance," which is pretty sound advice. Retailers will need to earn consumer trust by demonstrating they can deliver valuable offers.

Consumers cited privacy as the top concern related to mobile tracking, with more than 50% saying they would not want a retailer to know their location. Excessive marketing came in at No. 2, with more than 36% citing the frequency, intrusiveness, and irrelevant messages as deterrents.

"Woman with Smartphone" photo from Shutterstock.

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