Localization is becoming a hot topic among retailers striving to better connect with mobilized consumers. By harnessing the power of geo-targeting technology and “check-in” tools available on social networking sites, merchants can pinpoint their consumers’ locations in stores, leading to more relevant messages and offers — and potentially increased purchases.
For the Consumer Check-in Report, LocalResponse, a location-based social media engagement solution provider, analyzed the check-in behaviors and preferences of U.S. consumers during the summer of 2012, based off of a sample of data aggregated on the LocalResponse advertising platform, which currently serves up more than 7 billion impressions a month.
In addition, LocalResponse drilled down on the number of check-ins taking place via Foursquare, Instagram, Twitter and Yelp within brick-and-mortar locations of the top 10 U.S. retailers. These merchants include: Best Buy, Costco, CVS Caremark, The Home Depot; Kroger, Lowe’s, Safeway, Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart.
Results from the study indicated that overall, Foursquare was the most popular geo-location service for consumers in stores, accounting for 79% of all check-ins among the top 10 retailers. Instagram was the least popular social network for consumers to check in, garnering only 1.4% of the total sample.
Shoppers’ total check-in rates within stores of the top 10 U.S. retailers are as follows:
- Wal-Mart (38%)
- Target (15%)
- Costco (9%)
- Best Buy (7%)
- Walgreens (6%)
- The Home Depot (6%)
- CVS Caremark (5%)
- Lowe’s (5%)
- Safeway (4%)
- Kroger (4%)
“A lot of attention has been paid to the way brands differ in social activities, but we wanted to be more specific by measuring foot traffic in physical locations,” Michael Muse, Co-Founder and VP of Product and Operations at LocalResponse, told Retail TouchPoints. “One interesting finding is that there are key times when retailers can expect elevated social broadcast of foot traffic. This information enables them to prioritize their ad spend based on the time of day, offer more timely promotions, or utilize other methods to capture the ebbs and flows of consumers’ social activities.”
Saturday was the most popular day for shoppers to utilize geo-location services, with 25.9% of all check-ins made on that day, according to the report. The next most popular day was Friday, during which 19.7% of check-ins were completed. Furthermore, the LocalResponse research spotlighted 2 p.m. Eastern Time as the retail “check-in primetime” in America, then Friday between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
Shopper gender also impacted the quantity of check-ins being completed in stores: men totaled 54% of check-ins, while women accounted for 46%.
Overall, Muse expects geo-location services to continue to grow. “We believe retailers should take advantage of the data available when consumers volunteer the time, date and location of their visit to a store and share it with their social graph. These behaviors present a valuable opportunity for marketers: By releasing targeted offers and specials based on shoppers’ locations, retailers can create extremely effective and memorable high-touch experiences.”