Everything You Need to Know to Start Geotargeting

Using geographic location, or geotargeting, is the first step in understanding your customer base and determining where there are opportunities to market to specific areas. You can also use geotargeting to measure site performance by comparing your most important metrics to the national and state averages.

To start, you need to know where your target demographic is and where your retail stores are (if you have any). There are three trends we see on a client-wide basis: m-commerce population, conversion, and average order value.



Most likely to shop on smartphones:

State/District Portion of U.S. population Portion of U.S. smartphone shoppers
1. District of Columbia 0.19% 1.60%
2. Illinois 4.16% 6.01%
3. New York 6.28% 7.79%


Least likely to shop on smartphones:

State/District Portion of U.S. population Portion of U.S. smartphone shoppers
48. Idaho 0.51% 0.25%
49. Montana 0.32% 0.15%
50. New Mexico 0.67% 0.28%


D.C.'s share of the smartphone market compared to the second and third ranked states is significantly higher than its portion of the U.S. population. A quick analysis of the U.S. census data reveals that D.C. "stood out as a work location with a particularly high rate of out-of-state works." Although no other state exceeded 20.0% of total out-of-state commuters, 72.4% of all people who work in the District of Columbia live in a different state.



Highest-converting compared to the national average conversion

State/District Conversion
1. West Virginia +32.0%
2. Wyoming +31.8%
3. Kansas +31.4%


Lowest-converting compared to the national average conversion

State/District Conversion
48. Florida -12.6%
49. District of Columbia -16.0%
50. Hawaii -17.4%

D.C. has a very low smartphone conversion rate compared to its vast participation rate. Because D.C.'s pages per visit are 10% lower, I believe its shoppers are on-the-go and browsing without the intent to buy or purchasing later on their smartphone or on another deivce.

I expect Hawaii's conversion is low because it is burdened with high shipping costs. On average, shipping to Hawaii is 90% higher than shipping in the continental U.S.



Highest AOV compared to the national average conversion

State/District AOV
1. District of Columbia +21.0%
2. Alaska +9.7%
3. Hawaii +8.6%


Lowest AOV compared to the national average conversion

State/District AOV
48. Kentucky -11.9%
49. West Virginia -18.0%
50. Kansas -28.9%


For most states and districts, including D.C. and Hawaii, there is a direct relationship between AOV and average order quantity (AOQ). To go along with my original hypothesis, it appears that D.C. shoppers are waiting to purchase and buying more, while Hawaiians are making large purchases to avoid multiple shipping charges. 

Alaska's conversion rate is 5% above the national average, but AOQ is in line with national average. This indicates that Alaskans are buying more expensive items per purchase. Alternatively, West Virginia's shoppers purchase often but do not order high-value items. This is evident by their high conversion and low average order value.




The most important component of geotargeting or measuring performance based on geographic location is understanding what to do with the data. If conversion is low in a given market area, check your drop-off points, especially in your checkout funnel, to determine if shipping costs are too high or your seasonal products offerings are not regionally appropriate. If a state or district has a low view rate, consider running ad campaigns for that region.

Determining which metrics need to improve geographically will help you understand your customers and market products and promotions that focus their needs.

Talk to our Analyst Consultants to understand how you can take advantage of geotargeting.

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*Based on 2014 Census population estimates
**Sample size: 30 smartphone sites powered by Branding Brand; January 1 - May 31, 2015

Topics: Trends

Conversion Increased 21% for Retailers with Father's Day Sales and Email

Leading up to Father's Day, mobile shoppers were more than three times as likely to purchase from retailers who sent email blasts promoting sales than they were to purchase from retailers who sent email blasts without sales, according to the Mobile Commerce Index.


The sample of retailers who used email to promote sales sent 75% more emails in the week leading up to Father's Day compared to the first week in June. They were also more likely to send email on Sundays and Thursdays than any other day of the week.



Learn more about mobile shopping trends in the June Mobile Commerce Index report.

Topics: Trends

GNC Android App is Available!

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Need an Android app or want to optimize the app you already have? Give your customers the experience they deserve, and talk to us today. 

Learn why we were named a Cool Vendor in Mobile App Development by Gartner.


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Topics: Solutions Apps Company Client

5 Ways iOS 9 Will Affect Retailers

Branding Brand iOS Developers Brayden Wilmoth (left) and Alan Leatherman (right)

Yesterday, Apple announced big updates for iOS at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Alan Leatherman and Brayden Wilmoth, two of Branding Brand's iOS developers, listed five new features and upgrades in iOS 9 that will affect every online retailer:

Search API
Spotlight search in iOS 9 will generate results based on content within an app whether the user has it downloaded or not. 

"Using deep linking, retailers can increase the chance that users discover their apps and the frequency that they use them," said Wilmoth. 

This also means that interested buyers can search for a specific product or type of product in Spotlight and go directly to a product page within an app.

"The Search API will be huge for our clients," said Leatherman. "This will change the game for retailers and their marketing teams. They'll have to prioritize their content and calls-to-action because customers will be skipping the homepage and possibly category pages."

iOS 9 will introduce Multitasking, featuring Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture, which lets iPad users run and interact with two apps at a time.

"Webrooming just got even easier with Multitasking," said Wilmoth. "Customers will be able to price match and look at reviews while they shop."

Proactive Siri Reminders
Siri will become more of a personal assistant in iOS 9 by learning from daily device usage and creating reminders upon request.

"On-the-go shoppers will be able to bookmark their place in an app when they're busy by asking Siri to set up a reminder, so that they can come back when they have free time," said Leatherman.

Apple Wallet
Formally known as Passbook, Apple Wallet will be able to save store credit cards and rewards cards.

"Storing loyalty cards and store credit cards in Wallet will really appeal to customers because of the convenience," said Leatherman. "They'll be able to get a quick summary of their rewards without having to log into the app or online."

Native Watch Apps
WatchOS 2 will allow developers to build Apple Watch apps that aren't connected to a mobile app.

"Currently, Apple Watches serve as passive devices," said Wilmoth. "With native Watch apps, customers will benefit from retailers who offer brief interaction opportunities, like shipment tracking and delivery notification."
While developers can start testing with a beta version of iOS 9 next month, it's expected to be publicly released in the Fall. Our iOS App Team is already digging through the newly-released SDKs and API documentation to outline use cases and opportunities to boost conversion, so they can keep making the coolest apps around.
Topics: Trends

May Mobile Commerce Index is Live

Memorial Day Weekend sales drove shoppers to spend on their mobile devices. From Friday through Monday, conversion was 14% higher than average, according to the Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index.

Monday experienced the highest volume of visitors and sales. 29% of total visits and 35% of total revenue occurred on Monday, and conversion was 41% higher than clients' average. 

MDW_VisitsRevThe report also revealed that smartphone conversion increased 33% in May 2015 compared to May 2014. Additionally, smartphone's share of total visits increased 26% and share of total revenue increased 44% year-over-year. Desktop's total share of visits decreased 10% since May 2014.

View Full Report

Topics: Trends Report