Does Geolocation Marketing Lead To Conversions?

Where are your users?

Where are your users when they interact with your mobile app? What triggers a user to convert in your mobile app? With Amazon it may be the need to have something on the way to your house instantly. With Google it’s the need to have a question answered immediately. Sometimes, however, where we are can serve as a trigger for us to interact with our phone. So how can we leverage the places our users go to increase important metrics in our mobile apps?

Where we are dictates how we use our phones

Think about it, if we’re at a sporting event, we’re more likely to pull out our cameras and add to our Instagram stories.

When we’re sitting at a bus stop, we’re more likely to pull out our phones and check Twitter or play a game.

Our context drives how we use our phones.

Breaking it down

Conversion in a mobile app (in the most simple terms) consist of 3 events:

  • Environmental Triggers initiate an interaction with the app. Triggers can take place organically (influenced from day to day life) or artificially (initiated by the app creator).
  • Organic triggers take place because of events that happen in the physical world i.e. entered a coffee shop, ran out of toilet paper, had a question etc.
  • Artificial triggers take place when the developer tracks events and uses that data to get the user to interact with the app i.e. push notifications, emails, badges on the app icon etc.
  • Engagement is the point at which the app user is interacting with the mobile app. This stage is meant to direct the user to some sort of conversion event.
  • Conversion events happen when a user does something that benefits both the user and the company i.e. User made a purchase, clicked on an ad, liked a photo, etc. These metrics are a measure for success.

So why does location matter? It provides context

Location is a great way to understand what your user is doing outside of your application.

Sadly, many app developers treat their app like it is in a vacuum, and don’t understand that ignoring context and where their users are may cost them in conversions. Providing users with the right content at the right time leads to higher engagement rates and a more delightful user experience. Here is why understanding user context is important:

  • It creates in-app experiences that are relevant to the user
  • It can automate processes that improve user experience
  • It makes the user experience more interactive
  • It directs users’ attention by combining the virtual world with the physical world
  • It encourages engagement with your mobile app
  • And, finally, it makes your app more human

Well-designed contextual experiences are a clear sign of a care of a user. That’s why they are so important. Your mobile app starts to fit seamlessly into the life of your user by understanding where they are and what they’re doing.

When user context is paid attention to, it can give positive feelings about your brand and influence users’ actions, often without people even realizing why. If users feel like the app is understanding them, they’re more likely to keep using it.

How to use location to build contextual experiences


Developing location based interactions can be seen as simply tracking when a user enters or exits a location, and using that data to change your mobile app to incorporate what’s around the user.

Below are some examples of how you can use when users enter or exit a location to provide context and increase engagement with your app:

Location based prompt Probably the most common use of location context in things like coffee shops, airports, or gyms. Prompting a user to sign in or pay through their phone when they walk up to the building is a great way to nudge people to use the app when they’re supposed to. As much as we’d like it to be the case, app users don’t always automatically think to use our app, even when it would benefit them. Location based prompts are a great way to break that barrier.

Dynamic changes based on location Changing interfaces to match the area around the user is a great way to create context. If you have a mobile game, maybe you change the look based on where a user is to create a more immersive experience. Are they in the snowy mountains of Colorado or Newport beach? That information can be used to create experiences that tie into the places around the user.

Use locations to create effective ad campaigns Data on where users have been is awesome for creating digital advertisements. Did the user visit Indio, California during Coachella, or go to Cabo for spring break? Knowing that information can help create more effective and personalized advertisements within your mobile app.

Personalized reach out A great time to engage with a user directly is when they enter a location. If you’re a retail store, you can use this enter event to send a direct message to their phones asking if they need help finding anything. This not only limits the amount of people you need on the floor, but gives you an opportunity to help more visitors.

Predictive analytics Data is king with mobile apps. Location data is no different. Knowing where users are going can help you find trends in conversion events. Are your users more likely to make a purchase if they visited a brick and mortar location?

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using location data. Humans want human like interactions, and leveraging a user’s location is a great way to mimic that in a creative way. Paying attention to contextual details could make a huge difference in how users view your brand.

Making it easy to leverage location

So what dev tools should app developers familiarize themselves with? There are many tools out there but not everyone knows what works best for creating contextually relevant interactions.

If you’re familiar with coding:

  • Mobile: Xcode, Android studio

If you want to track when users enter or exit a location:

  • SpotSense and Radar

Simple event tracking platforms for your mobile app where you can send location data

  • Mixpanel and Amplitude

Platforms for sending notifications or in app messages to your users

  • Urban Airship (Now just “Airship”) and Intercom

Connecting all of these platforms together

  • Segment

Combining these different platforms together can supercharge your development efforts. The cool thing is that it is now possible for a couple developers to create a really amazing mobile app by stitching together these different platforms!

Future applications will need context awareness to survive. This is where SpotSense plans to come in.

The most human centered mobile apps will win out moving forward. We created the SpotSense Geofencing platform to easily add geofencing capabilities to a mobile app so developers could use real world locations to engage with users in a more human way.

Eventually, we plan to increase the granularity of our platform to completely understand the context around where an app user is and what they’re doing (i.e are they driving, headed home, going to work?). We’re not quite there yet, but we’re happy to roll out the SpotSense Geofencing platform as a way to utilize your user’s location and provide them with unique location based experiences. You can even tie that location data into the tools you’re already using!

We need to start thinking of how the places our users go play a role in conversion events in our mobile apps, and start leveraging the real world as part of our app’s interface. People don’t experience apps solely in a virtual world (yet). Every action we take on our mobile devices takes place in a real world location. Let’s use that to our advantage.