Men More Resistant To Location Tracking Than Women: But Receptive In Exchange Of Rewards !

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The smartphone intrusiveness is crossing all the barriers in some of the developed countries like the US. The motivation to enhance their business at all costs have led the marketers to indulge into mobile location-tracking and keep the consumers informed about the latest offers, sales and other options nearby. However, almost half the consumers are not open to mobile tracking owing to privacy issues, but 27% of them can be swayed if given the right benefits. PunchTab, in its recent mobile tracking report, has attempted to sort out users’ behavior regarding the location tracking. The report is based on a survey conducted on 1,153 smartphone users in the US for a period of three days ranging from 18th April to 21st April, 2014.


  • 53% males are not at all likely to allow location tracking.
  • 23% consumers are indifferent to mobile tracking.
  • Privacy is the biggest issue holding back the consumers.
  • Gen-Y women are more receptive to mobile tracking.
  • Consumers are open to sharing their location in exchange of coupons or other benefits.
  • The mobile tracking is borderline creepy for some consumers.

Men are More Averse to Location Tracking

27% consumers can easily be swayed to allow location tracking, if given the right amount of coupons or offers. The segment of male consumers who are not at all interested in mobile tracking is greater than their female counterparts. Compared to 53% males, only 47% females are not willing to allow mobile location tracking. Interestingly almost one-fourth of males and females are totally indifferent to mobile location tracking. 28% males between the ages of 50-65 and 26% males in the age group of 34 to 49 are likely to try tracking.

mobile tracking gender wise

The major factor preventing users’ from location tracking is the breach on their privacy caused by such apps. A majority of users is also repelled by the idea of getting number of messages if they allow tracking. Good discounts and sales are an easy way to manipulate customers into buying stuff they do not need right now. Consumers are also dismayed about giving their travel and location details to complete strangers for their benefits.

mobile tracking reasons for staying away

84% Consumers Will Allow Location Tracking in Superstores

Out of the 27% consumers who are likely to allow mobile tracking in exchange for good benefits, 34% millennial women are more amenable to the idea. Understandably, 88% of these people will allow mobile tracking in exchange of good offers while 72% consumers would do it to shorten their checkout time. Interestingly, out of the 577 consumers who were not at all likely to allow tracking, 12% of them may switch their gears if offered a reward in the form of $25 coupons. On increasing the amount of benefits offered, more consumers on the edge are willing to give access to their location.

reasons for mobile tracking

Department stores are the second preferred stores where consumers are likely to try mobile location tracking. Unsurprisingly by now, women are more likely to give their location access to the supermarkets, departmental stores, drug stores and coffee houses. A 50-50 inclination of both men and women are visible in the grocery stores and home improvement stores.

where will consumers allow mobile tracking

All-time Location Tracking is Creepy!

PunchTab also studied the views of users on social platforms like the Twitter, blogs and forums for fifteen months ended in April, 2014. Some users loved the way tracking apps could help them locate items in the store while others found an app interesting if it gives them 40% off coupons every time the app is opened in the store. However, users’ also hated the way they can be tracked at all places using such apps. Divulging their exact location to apps and friends and family all the time is disturbing for some of them.

“The potential for proximity marketing is compelling for all involved: shoppers, retailers and brands. The risk is significant, however. The wrong communication, the wrong targeting or delivery at the wrong time will annoy shoppers and drive them out the door instead,” said Aarom Mittman, CEO, Sonic Notify.

The report proves that consumers are fiercely protective about their privacy and are not willing to give the marketers a chance to prove themselves correct. Instead of focusing on such consumers, the marketers can target customers who might switch gears on been offering some coupons.

The smartphone contribution in the US market has almost reached 70%. With such a massive target audience, marketers can easily pave in their ways if they build the trust factor among the users. Women are more receptive to the idea of location tracking; giving them good offers in supermarkets and coffee houses are a way to lure them in. The ad developers could work in this segment to attract more female consumers. However, inappropriate messages and all the time delays may fend away the users. The early adopters are likely to fuel the demand of mobile location tracking.

Key Take Aways:

  • Mobile app developers must make the location tracking feature as a selection option to users.
  • Shopping app developers must focus on location tracking feature to make it more acceptable to users.
  • Mobile apps must focus on giveaways and coupons to gain access to their location.


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