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Shopper awareness of location-based technology picks up steam (study)

Study shows 65% of shoppers use mobile support while shopping in-store

Consumer awareness of location-based technology on smartphones is high, but few retailers are taking advantage of its potential benefits, finds a study titled The Mobile-Driven Shopper, conducted by the Canadian Marketing Association and Air Miles operator LoyaltyOne.

The study found 86% of Canadian consumers (and 91% of millennials and gen x-ers) are aware of beacon technology and 56% have used it to help them make more informed purchasing decisions.

“We’ve always expected that awareness was growing,” says Michael Cohn, director of mobile API and analytics innovation at LoyaltyOne. “Certainly it’s always going to be strongest in the early adopters of everything mobile, which tend to be millennials and gen x-ers.”

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But North American retailers have been slow to adopt the technology, the study notes. “Some retailers are dipping their toes slowly,” Cohn says. While so far there has been more interest than action from retailers, “I do expect it to pick up as more and more people become comfortable with the technology.”

Cohn says Air Miles has to date conducted two pilots with beacons in Staples stores in Calgary and Edmonton and Rexall outlets in downtown Toronto to see how many offers should be given to consumers when they walk into a store.

Among the study’s findings:

• 65% of shoppers have used some sort of mobile device to support them while shopping in-store and 45% have used a device in-store that has led them to make an immediate purchase

• 63% of consumers who have previously received location based notifications are very or somewhat likely to continue receiving them

• 62% of shoppers who own smartphones find receiving rewards relevant to location to be appealing, while 47% want to receive product information relevant to location and 35% want mobile payment options

• 20% of consumers have uninstalled or opted out of push notifications from a retailer’s app due to lack of relevance

Given the intimacy of mobile devices, “ultimately what they’re looking for is something that’s relevant to them,” Cohn says.

The online survey involved 1,062 Air Miles members, of which 61% were female and 39% male, and was weighted to be representative of active collectors by engagement segment, age and region.

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