Only 27% of shoppers will allow mobile tracking

Shoppers are reluctant to allow retailers to track them on mobile devices thanks to ongoing privacy concerns. Just 27 percent of shoppers say they are likely to allow tracking on mobile devices to receive benefits, according to a new survey from PunchTab.

Real-time updates about accrued points and loyalty program benefits are among the most favored benefits by these shoppers. Nearly half of those surveyed had privacy concerns.

And while industry pundits often point to app overload as a reason why shoppers aren't embracing retail apps, only 13 percent of PunchTab's respondents said too many messages put them off and 12 percent said they were intrusive. Two percent felt manipulated by mobile messages and 1 percent were annoyed and didn't like being told how to shop.

"While mobile technology allows marketers to deliver relevant and timely marketing messages, privacy concerns have traditionally carried more weight," said Robyn Hannah, PunchTab spokeswoman. "What we're seeing in this report is that consumers aren't hesitant about mobile tracking just because it's new and different. Some of the other main drivers include fears around receiving excessive and irrelevant marketing messages."

Millennial women were the most receptive and men age 50-65 were most likely to allow tracking (28 percent).

Coupons, discounts and faster checkout were the most popular reasons to allow mobile tracking. And while these results have been reported before, a number of shoppers cited help navigating store layouts, help locating lost items, the ability to connect with a sales person and personalized shopping as potential desirable benefits.

Shoppers were also more likely to allow tracking in supercenters at 84 percent. Department stores ranked second and grocery stores third. Coffee houses were surprisingly low on the list given Starbucks' mobile success: just 38 percent said tracking would be acceptable there.

Sports stores, drug stores and convenience stores also ranked low among respondents.

Retailers' best bet, according to the survey, is to focus on early adopters and let these shoppers drive adoptions.

For more:
-See this PunchTab report

Related stories:
In-store tracking to be a $3 billion market by 2018
All eyes on Apple's WWDC for iBeacon and smarthome announcements
Walgreens launches iBeacon pilot
Mobile payments, in-store tracking among key trends to watch
Google to track how online ads drive in-store sales