KEY POINTS

  • Location-based services enjoy widespread acceptance, but adoption isn't growing. Seventy-four percent of U.S. smartphone owners say they use mobile location-based services.That percentage is flat compared to last year.
  • Check-ins are becoming passé. The percentage of U.S. adults who reported using local-social networks to "check in," decreased from 18% in February of last year to 12% this year.
  • Providing a useful service that encourages data sharing is the key to a location-based strategy. Apps like Life360 and Waze prosper because consumers feel like they're getting great value out of sharing not just their location, but other information too.
  • Data increasingly supports the notion that local apps and advertising leads to in-store purchases. Mobile-local campaigns allow marketers to nudge customers down the purchase funnel, and "close the loop," with in-store foot traffic and purchases.
  • We look closely at geoaudience profiling, geoconquesting, and hyper-local in-store campaigns. The key to the three strategies is that they create even more data with which to segment audiences and target future offline, online, and in-store campaigns.

SUMMARY

Adults Who Use Location FeaturesBII

In this report, we look at when people are willing to share their location data, how technology has changed shopping in the physical world, and how marketers are using new approaches made possible by mobile-generated location data.

But first it's useful to look at the role of location-powered features and apps in mobile, and how they've evolved. In the early years of the smartphone revolution, the ability of phones to collect exact GPS data led to an overuse of location-powered features. Many games, social media services, news services, and photo tools asked for location data without really having a reason to do so.

Other LBS banked on the notion of the "check-in," announcing your presence at specific sites like stores or restaurants, and competing with friends based on the number of check-ins.

That was Foursquare's strategy. But the popularity of check-ins has waned, according to the latest audience research.

Meanwhile, it became clear that many consumers were wary of sharing their locations. In fact, according [...]