Closing the Location Loop in Mobile Commerce

by Chuck Martin on June 2, 2013

By Chuck Martin

As precise targeting of mobile consumers near restaurants continues to improve, there may be an opportunity to link some of the disparate parts of mobile commerce together.

Two separate recent studies identify restaurants as being at or near the top of the food chain relating to targeted advertising.

In one study based on ad campaigns, Verve Mobile found that about 70% of quick service and casual restaurant campaigns leverage geo targeting.

A separate report from xAd, another ad network, found restaurants to be in the top three industries using location-based ads.

As you might expect, the general focus on these mobile ads is to drive foot traffic into restaurants. In most cases, that’s where the campaign ends, with results being judged on customers sent, which can be determined by various means, such as coupon redemptions.

But these restaurants may be a good place to close the loop on mobile commerce by linking the concepts of geo-based targeted advertising to mobile payments.

The percentage of people who actually click on these specific ads is relative small, though considerably higher than non-location-based mobile ads.

But what if some of these restaurant ads also promoted the use of mobile phones to pay for food at their restaurant?

Most people have not used mobile devices to pay, let alone even become aware of all the payment options being tried around the country (and the world, for that matter).

This could encourage customer retention in addition to customer acquisition.

Many restaurants already use mobile payments, which makes it easier for consumers to split checks as well as pay and leave without having to wait. (Yes, cash does the same thing, but leaves no digital trail for future offers.)

Introducing some consumers to mobile payments in ads served near a particular fast food restaurant could, at the least, cause a consumer to explore the novelty. If that happens, then the measurement of foot traffic still is fulfilled.

If the customer then starts to use mobile payments, mobile commerce gets one step closer to end-to-end.

Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker around the world.

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