Mobile tracking tech ties physical movements of shoppers to their purchasing decisions

Mobile tracking tech - Shopping Mall

A new type of mobile tracking technology may make it easier for advertises to target potential customers.

A new study using a new kind of mobile tracking tech – information trajectory-based targeting – has found that by targeting a shopper’s physical movements, advertisers can significantly improve ads via mobile phones.

This mobile technology goes beyond simply advertising to a customer based on their location.

The new study, involving the mobile tracking tech, was recently published in the journal Management Science, and was carried out by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, New York University and Pennsylvania State University.

According to the study, the researchers used a targeting strategy that tracks where, when, and for how long consumers are shopping in a mall. The data that is collected determines how the physical movements of these shoppers affects their economic decisions.

“Our results can help advertisers improve the design and effectiveness of their mobile marketing strategies,” says Beibei Li, assistant professor of information systems and management at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, who coauthored the study, reports Phys.org.

The results of the study revealed that the mobile tracking tech was particularly effective in attracting high-income and male shoppers.

The study was carried out in June 2014 at an Asian shopping mall that had over 300 stores and over 100,000 daily visitors. Consumers were asked if they wanted to enjoy free Wi-Fi. Those who did were asked to complete a form that included providing their age, gender, income range, type of credit card and phone.

Over 14 days, researchers tracked 83,370 unique responses. Study participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups:

• The first group didn’t receive any ads via their smartphones
• The second group were sent an ad from a randomly selected store
• The third group was sent an ad based on their current location
• The fourth group were sent an ad based on information trajectory-based targeting

Information trajectory-based targeting provided the researchers with detailed information in regard to the shoppers’ trajectory (e.g. where they were, when, and for how long) and detailed behavioral data that is recorded and regularly updated from multiple mobile devices.

The study found that trajectory-based targeting can encourage customers to use the offers sent via their phones more frequently and more quickly than the more traditional mobile ad targeting methods. This new form of targeting also resulted in higher customer satisfaction among participants, according to the study findings.

Additionally, it increased total revenues for stores associated with the promotion and increased overall mall revenues, with the exception of weekends. Moreover, this ad targeting method seemed to be most effective in attracting male shoppers with high incomes.

“This type of targeting can be used not only to boost the efficiency of customers’ current shopping behavior but also Mobile tracking tech - Shopping Mallto nudge them toward changing their shopping patterns, which will generate additional revenue for businesses,” Anindya Ghose, professor of business at New York University, who coauthored the study, said of the new mobile tracking tech.

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