Location-based marketing coupons sway consumer decisions

Mobile retail marketing has changed (and changed with) consumer buying behavior, but location-based marketing may be the newest addition to this growing trend. A recent study from the Munich Maximillans University suggests customized mobile promotion and marketing can greatly sway consumers’ choices at the point-of-purchase. Professor Spann and his colleagues used a German smartphone app that provided modified coupons to test what types of promotions consumers are more willing to buy. They were able to send people coupons at the perfect time and place that might result in them immediately entering a store to purchase the product. They found that, while location-based marketing coupons have a strong impact on consumers’ buying behavior, it is not the deal breaker. Other factors, like the order in which the coupon appears in the app, the number of conditions in the offer, and the face value of the offer, also play an important role for the consumer. Even time of day can play an important role. For example, researchers found coffee coupons were more popular in the afternoon. In addition, distance had a negative impact on the willingness of consumers to redeem a coupon.

This study suggests that popularity of location-based retail marketing is on the rise. Mobile shopping apps, like ShopKick and AisleBuyer, are already on the market, providing in-store deals for participating consumers. With the growing connectivity between mobile marketing and online shoppers, there is great potential for retailers to snag some spotlight in this mobile marketing trend, even in the last few minutes of a purchase.

Shoppers are patient

This last holiday season revealed a new trend – customers are willing to wait for great retail deals. This 2011 holiday pattern showed a high number of purchases around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, then very low records up until Christmas Eve for last-minute deals. This indicates shoppers were willing to wait – even to the last minute – for great deals. Incredibly, shoppers were not persuaded by in-store flash sales and promotional events, which many retail marketing pros pushed to increase the low in-store numbers. Most shoppers disregarded these sales, knowing they could find cheaper deals on other deal sites – the mentality being “there will be a better deal for this on Gilt tomorrow.” The bottom line: consumers are shopping online more than ever. Whether it’s this market transparency allowing consumers to compare many deals and products at once or the slow economy, shoppers are being patient in choosing what products they want and at what price.

The ‘moderate consumer’ develops new shopping & buying behavior

This retail demographic comprising a large portion of US shoppers is, as a whole, developing new purchasing habits. Typically known for their mid-range buying, they are now branching out. No longer willing to spend $30 at the Gap for a simple sweatshirt, they instead are buying basic clothes at discount outlets. Conversely, they are paying more for near-luxury brands that have moderately priced lines. This moderate consumer is branching out of their comfortable buying behavior and treating themselves while also being penny-wise. This is a trend to look out for in the coming months. No doubt, luxury brand discount sites like Gilt or Rue La La have something to do with this. We can be fashionable but frugal, too. If you are in retail marketing, the focus on mobile, online and location-based shopping is shifting the values and trends of your customers. Do your homework and find out how you can play into that as well.

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