One of the most interesting trends in local is the development of location analytics — using mobile devices to measure consumer activity and movements in the real world. A variation on that is location profiling that enables audience targeting via places.
In October location analytics company Placed launched Placed Panels. If you don’t remember, this is essentially incentivized opt-in location tracking for retailers and brands. Briefly here are the benefits and use cases (from the Placed site):
- Better understand the connection between online and offline behavior, gain competitive insights and evaluate the offline effectiveness of advertising
- Gain insights into what key customers segments eat, shop and play
- Increase the value of your audience to marketers by providing visibility into offline behaviors (ex. most frequented department stores)
- Businesses can identify marketing opportunities based on offline behaviors across multiple customer segments
What Place Panels have yielded are some very interesting data, which CEO David Shim provided to me earlier this week. First some “fun” data about where Democrats and Republicans shop and eat. The following locations “over-index” for Republicans and Democrats respectively:
Placed also provided some data about retail-store visits over the holiday weekend. The following data reflect in-store traffic growth on Black Friday vs. “normalized foot traffic” in November. They’re based on aggregated Placed Panels data. Accordingly the charts below list the retail chains that saw the highest growth on Black Friday in terms of in-store visits.
Below are Experian and comScore’s charts about the top Black Friday online retail site visits. There aren’t necessarily any dramatic conclusions to be drawn from the comparison. However three of the stores in the online top five (Apple, JC Penney, Best Buy) also saw in-store traffic increases according to Placed.
By using both in-store and online data one could start to get a better sense of how these channels work together (or don’t as the case might be) and then better use them to drive sales and improve the overall customer experience across channels. The Placed data provide near real-time information that can be used to, among other things, determine the efficacy of traditional or digital promotions and marketing on in store visits — and sales.