Location Sciences Group – Verify


Retailers seeking a competitive edge as the festive season fast approaches should be looking closely at the location data driving their digital efforts to capitalize on the projected 3.7% year-over-year growth from US holiday shopping in 2019. With an estimated 5.8% bump in consumers buying private label products (source: IRI), the quality and accuracy of retailer’s holiday advertising could be the key to boosting foot traffic during the biggest shopping season of the year.

With customers’ brand loyalty dependent on price and convenience, retailers have to think more creatively to get people into their stores. By investing in technology and partnerships, retail brands are re-imagining their marketing efforts to be there when and where their customers need them most. Pivoting in-store experiences to ensure shoppers become repeat purchasers.

The fight for customer spending

On a related track of user experience, the significance of digital marketing channels has also increased. Retailers are looking to outpace continued customer demands ahead of their competitors. Whilst Amazon’s control of e-Commerce has changed the industry, the reality is that more than 80% of all shopping is done in the same battlegrounds we know and love – in brick-and-mortar stores. So it makes sense that the fight for customer spending happens where they spend the majority of their time – on their mobile device and outside of their home.

The clutter and absolute abundance of retail marketing across digital and placed-based media increases the need for data expertise. Laser-like precision in reaching potential customers, particularly where they are near a store, provides retailers with data signals to increase their value when shoppers are within proximity of a potential sale.

Data supply and demand

Local ad spend continues to increase, up to $149 billion in the US. But so has cultural sensitivity to the data that’s being used to fuel this expenditure. Congressional hearings, the CCPA, and emerging digital consent models have led to more informed audience participation in data sharing, often limiting quality data signals that marketers rely on to win at point of purchase. We must ask ourselves: if data demand is up & supply is down with spend on the rise – what does that mean?

Unfortunately the answer is likely fraud, data negligence, or a combination of both. According to our research, 65% of every dollar spent on digitally enabled location marketing today is waste. Of that 65% waste, 29% of local marketing efforts deliver to the wrong location, leaving retailers high and dry when they need data to be at its best.

It comes back down to supply & demand. As the supply of valuable data – like GPS signals for location marketers – decreases, marketers and the buying technologies they trust will unknowingly spend more on location data with no transparency into what they are buying. For most retailers, the GPS-level data helping them win at point of conversion (POC) is replaced by less qualified data signals such as IP addresses or completely inaccurate data created by fraudsters who mimic devices and data signals to mirror that of GPS. It’s a relatively easy scheme to execute since even the most sophisticated marketers do not require that their location data partners or media supply sources provide proof of the signals they use to meet retailer spend demands.

Data obtained from Location Sciences ‘State of Location Advertising Report’

Quality data standards

But it’s not all doom and gloom – of the 65% waste and fraud delivered, Location Sciences’ data recognizes that most (if not all) is coming from 60% of location suppliers. That means that only 40% of the marketplace meets optimal quality of data standards, and those suppliers are delivering a 10 – 40% increase in actual media performance as a result. The question now becomes, how do retailers distinguish good from bad and deliver successful location marketing this holiday season?

Here are four tips every retailer should follow:

  1. Require transparency into the data being used to meet your location marketing needs.

  2. Know what to look for — true GPS is the most optimal source of accuracy.

  3. Require an agnostic and nonpartisan source to validate the truth of the data signals within your location marketing. Much of today’s location-based marketplace is represented by “bundled” sales offering that mix media, measurement and data together.

  4. Seek data and media supply sources that have trusted third-party stamps of approval, signalling their commitment to trust and transparency in how they meet your retailer needs this holiday season.

In the run-up to shopping frenzies like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday rush that’s about to hit, savvier retailers need every edge available to outperform their rivals. Why should they expect any less from the location data that plays an increasingly vital role in that competition?

Download our State of Location advertising report to discover more valuable insights into location data:

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If your organization uses location data, contact us to learn how improved accuracy and quality reduces waste  and produces better marketing results and outcomes.