New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Lesson for Mobile Marketers: Persuade In-Store Shoppers to Travel Farther

April 11, 2013

In a recent study, professor Sam Hui of the Stern School of Business and co-authors Jeffrey Inman at the University of Pittsburgh, Yanliu Huang of Drexel University, and Jacob Suher at the University of Texas at Austin, found that mobile promotions, which persuade shoppers to travel farther within a store, can significantly increase unplanned spending.

Retailers have long held the belief that encouraging customers to travel through more of the store will lead to increased purchases. One age-old example is how supermarkets stock milk at the rear of the store. But until now, that assumption has never been formally tested. In the first study of its kind, Hui and his co-authors used radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking to collect in-store consumer path data and conducted a field experiment to examine the effect of in-store travel on unplanned spending. 

They found that, on average, shoppers travel approximately 1,400 feet in a grocery store, and that traveling an additional 55 feet generates around $1 per shopper in additional unplanned spending. Simulations based on the researchers’ estimates suggest that strategically promoting three product categories via mobile promotion may increase unplanned spending by more than 16 percent.

   The research team conducted a field experiment to assess the effectiveness of mobile promotions and found that a coupon that requires shoppers to travel farther from their planned path results in a substantial increase in unplanned spending ($21.29) versus a coupon for a product near their planned path ($13.83).            The paper, titled “The Effect of In-Store Travel Distance on Unplanned Spending: Applications to Mobile Promotion Strategies,” appeared in the March 2013 issue of the American Marketing Association’s Journal of Marketing.

“Retailers have the ability to target their promotions in ways that weren’t possible before, and our study provides a roadmap for mobile marketers who seek to increase unplanned spending in stores,” explains Hui.

Type: Article

Lesson for Mobile Marketers: Persuade In-Store Shoppers to Travel Farther

Search News

NYU In the News

NYU Received a Record Number of Applications

Capital New York reported NYU received a record 60,322 applications for the class of 2019, an increase of about 15 percent since last year.

NYU Students Help City Crack Down on Hookah Bars

Capital New York reported that NYU students helped New York City crack down on hookah bars that illegally include tobacco in their hookahs:

Rudin Center Study Says Mass Transit Helps Economic Mobility

The Wall Street Journal wrote about a report by Wagner’s Rudin Center that showed that mass transit could be more important than education in determining economic mobility.

Brennan Center Report Says Campaign Spending Has Jumped

Frontline did a piece about a report by the Brennan Center for Justice that said that campaign spending by outside groups has more than doubled in the last five years.

NYU’s Dorms Ranked Among the Best in the Nation ranked NYU’s student residences third in the country in its list of best college dorms.


NYU Footer