LONDON: An increasing number of retailers in the UK are using location-based technology to inform their geo-targeted marketing campaigns, but many feel let down by the accuracy of the data they currently receive.

That is according to a survey of 157 UK retail executives who make use of customer location data, which was conducted by Location Services, a specialist mobile location firm, in partnership with RetailTechNews, a retail industry news portal.

The survey revealed that nearly two-thirds (62%) of retailers believe a high level of accuracy is a key element of good quality location data, which 57% say should range between one and five metres.

However, the study contended that accuracy of one to five metres is “impossible to confirm” when currently sourced through programmatic bidstream, a process which is described as an “unreliable third-party data source”.

This lack of accuracy, the report said, is because of a number of factors, including inadequate GPS data being attached to the majority of bid requests or because location data is obtained from the IP address of a phone rather than directly from a device’s location services.

Why this matters is because more than half of retailers (54%) currently obtain their location data via programmatic and, furthermore, they want more detail from the information they receive.

For example, 53% of respondents say an indication of dwell time at a location would be a sign of good quality data, while more than a third (36%) would like to see a precise time stamp included in their location data.

The same proportion (36%) believe that building accurate location-based audiences is the most valuable insight to be gained from accurate location data.

“UK retailers expect accurate data and insight when buying location-based advertising campaigns, however the market is not meeting this need,” said Mark Slade, CEO of Location Sciences.

“With the IAB reporting 2017 mobile display adspend of £2.54bn and estimates that 80-90% of location signals are inaccurate, it is time the media industry treated location accuracy with the same significance as viewability, fraud and brand safety before it,” he added. “The case for industry location benchmarks and independent verification is clear.”

Sourced from Location Sciences, RetailTechNews; additional content by WARC staff