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Swirl Networks

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iBeacon’s First Retail Holiday: Consumer Insights

New Research from Swirl Finds 77 Percent of Consumers Would Share Their Smartphone Location Data in Return for Valuable, Relevant Offers

65 Percent of Consumers Trust Retailers With Their Smartphone Location - More Than Google or Other Shopping Apps

BOSTON, MA  – As news breaks about retailers testing iBeacon technology to send offers and marketing alerts to consumers’ smartphones while they shop in stores, Swirl Networks, Inc., an in-store mobile marketing platform provider, today released research findings about consumer willingness to receive beacon-triggered alerts. Swirl’s study found that 77 percent of consumers would be willing to share their smartphone location data (a prerequisite for beacon-triggered campaigns) as long as they received enough value in return. The study also revealed that consumers are much more likely to entrust their location information to their favorite retailers (65 percent) than to shopping/deals apps, Google or Facebook. As retailers ramp up their use of beacons for in-store mobile marketing, they must overcome the two largest complaints from consumers about today’s mobile shopping alerts: lack of relevance (41 percent) and lack of value (37 percent).

Swirl’s research found that:

Consumers are primed for in-store mobile alerts
• Sixty-seven percent have received shopping-related alerts on their smartphones in the past six months.
• Of those, 81 percent read/open them most of the time and 79 percent have consequently made a purchase at least once.

Relevance, value and trust matter to consumers
• When asked why they ignored mobile shopping alerts, 41 percent said they were not relevant to their interests or location, 37 percent stated the alerts did not provide enough value, 16 percent thought they were annoying and six percent did not opt-in to receive them.
• Seventy-seven percent of consumers said that they would be willing to share their location information, as long as they received enough value in return.
• When asked whom they would trust with their smartphone’s location data, 65 percent said their favorite retailer. By comparison, 45 percent would trust a shopping/deals app, 42 percent would trust Google and 37 percent would trust a social app like Facebook.

Beacons make retailer mobile apps more appealing to consumers
• According to the study, 80 percent of shoppers would use retailer apps more often while shopping in a store if those apps delivered sales and promotion alerts. Sixty-two percent said they would increase their use of use retailer mobile apps in the store if the apps provided content that was more relevant to their interests and location.
• When shopping in-store, almost twice as many shoppers prefer to learn about products and promotions from their smartphone than from a store sales associate (65 percent versus 38 percent.)

“There is no doubt that 2014 will be the year of the beacon in retail. Retailers like Timberland, Kenneth Cole and Alex and Ani have been using in-store beacons for the past six months and Apple recently enabled iBeacon technology in all of its stores,” said Hilmi Ozguc, founder and CEO of Swirl. “Our research shows that consumers are eager to receive relevant content and offers on their smartphones while shopping in-stores and they are willing to disclose their location in return. Beacon-triggered in-store mobile marketing represents a huge opportunity, but to succeed, retailers will need to create experiences that truly engage and add value for shoppers.”

Swirl commissioned independent research firm ResearchNow to study the mobile and shopping preferences of 1,000 consumers in November 2013. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3 percent.

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About Swirl

Swirl is an in-store mobile marketing platform provider that is helping retailers leverage the power of mobile to attract and influence consumers while they shop in retail stores. Top retailers such as Timberland, Kenneth Cole, and Alex and Ani use Swirl’s patent-pending micro-location technology to increase their store traffic, customer engagement and sales conversions. The company is led by an accomplished entrepreneurial team and backed by top-tier investors including Hearst Ventures, SoftBank Capital, Longworth Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners. Learn more at .