Can predictive mobility data help retail apps draw in more customers?


Arity · April 5, 2021 · 4 min read


Arity Asked Real App Shoppers to Find the Answer

This article is the 3rd in the series about leveraging predictive mobility data to provide meaningful value within mobile apps. This article focuses on apps for brick-and-mortar retail stores. Retail apps are a convenient way for shoppers to find what they need — at the best price and the most convenient location — without having to drive all over town. But are there other ways that retail apps could draw even more consumers to a retail store to shop or pick up an order? Arity performed one-on-one moderated interviews with retail app users and discovered not only how they felt about location permissions and push notifications, but also two stand-out use cases:

  • Personalized offers at the right time and place

  • Location-based reminders

Let’s take a closer look at the first use case that resonated with consumers.

Use Case 1: Personalized Offers at the Right Time and Place Predictive mobility data is information about where and when a consumer is likely to go, based on where and when we know they’ve gone in the past. It can be used to anticipate a consumer’s upcoming mobility patterns and to display offers most likely to be helpful and relevant to them. Most participants in the Arity study said if the personalized offer saved them a trip and saved them money at the same time, they’d be interested in this feature.

Use Case #2: Location-Based Reminders In our second scenario, Arity researchers were curious whether people would find it helpful to receive a reminder to pick up an order when they were near the store. While not as popular as the first use case, it still held the attention of many retail app users. The feature resonated when they were also going to receive a discount or if they were very busy. One participant noted, “Let’s say I buy razor blades and those are expensive, and I’m driving past the grocery store and got told it was 50% off, then I would totally turn into that store and make a purchase.”

Location Permission Granted … for Deals and Convenience These two use cases require the location permissions to be “always on.” How do retail mobile app shoppers feel about that? Our study recipients said that they understood that location sharing was a “necessary evil,” and most of them were fine with giving permission as long as they were getting a deal, or it was saving them time. For example, personalized ads or coupons, store locations, or knowing which items were in stock were all valid reasons to allow location sharing.

What About Push Notifications? Location permission is only useful to a retail app publisher if it also has permission to send an alert of an offer when the timing is right. What are retail app users’ attitudes around notification preferences?

We already know they find too many notifications annoying or distracting. Some also thought notifications might lead to impulse buying they’d regret later. So what might make them allow notifications? Our interviewees said they’d want to receive notifications for a few specific scenarios:

  • Order status updates and pickup alerts

  • Rewards are about to expire

  • Product sales

  • Inventory changes

Layering Predictive Mobility Data into Retail Store Apps: Research Takeaways What does Arity make of this study data for retail app publishers? Retail app makers can gain the most benefit from knowing their users’ frequent routes in order to provide an offer when the consumer is nearby. This scenario resonated the most with study participants.

To be most effective in providing time-sensitive and local offers, Arity recommends that retail app publishers:

  • Ensure the value to the consumer is clear and understandable in order to encourage data sharing

  • Be transparent about privacy and ensure consumers know their options

  • Keep distractions to a minimum and make sure every notification adds real value

  • Help consumers understand the impact of “always-on” permissions on battery drain

  • Establish trust with consumers by being clear and upfront about what to expect from the app, especially when a retailer is smaller or less known

Predictive mobility data from Arity empowers retail app publishers to help their customers save time and money by offering what they want most: personalized offers at the right time and place and location-based reminders.

To find out how to get started layering predictive mobility data into your retail app, contact Arity today.

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