Distance and Local Competition in Mobile Geofencing
Information Systems Research, Forthcoming
47 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018 Last revised: 10 Jun 2020
Date Written: April 20, 2020
This research studies the performance of geofencing, a practice where mobile users are targeted within a pre-defined virtual geographic boundary around an advertiser’s establishment. We argue the significance of distance (i.e., the mileage from a consumer to a focal establishment) and local competition (i.e., the number of alternatives in consumer vicinity) in ad responses. Drawing on the notion of the purchase funnel, we develop a two-stage hierarchical Bayesian model to examine consumer click and conversion choices. A unique data set of geofencing ad impressions is collected from one of the largest location-based marketing agencies in the United States. The results suggest that local competition matters in the click stage, while distance influences the propensity of conversion. Quantitatively, one additional competitor in the consumer vicinity zone lowers the click-through rate by 1.03%, whereas a one-mile increase in distance results in a 17.64% decrease in the conversion rate. We also find a significant interactive effect, whereby a higher degree of local competition amplifies the negative impact of distance on the likelihood of conversions. Additionally, product differentiation ameliorates the effects of distance and local competition, while these effects are found to be more prominent during office working hours. This study discovers the stage-varying roles of distance and local competition along the customer journey and offers new directions for more effective location-based targeting.
Keywords: location-based advertising, geofencing, mobile, purchase funnel, competition, hierarchical Bayes
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