Holiday Retail Analysis 2012: Visits, Market Share, Days

Just like a big family dinner over the holidays, retailers bring with them their own unique personalities to the holiday shopping season based on findings from Placed’s 2012 Holiday Retail Analysis.


By aggregating and then normalizing data collected from Placed Panels, Placed is able to provide retailer-level insights on visits to physical locations.  This micro-level data is a first in an industry previously dominated by aggregate insights with limited actionability (ex. retail sales up 2% year over year).


Top December Shopping Days by Retailer Based on In-Store Visits
Each individual retailer has its own persona when it comes to in-store visits.  Toys ‘R’ Us’ busiest day in December was the 15th, while Best Buy was Super Saturday (22nd), and Walmart was the 23rd.  This highlights that a single day does not make or break a retailer’s holiday season.


Busiest Holiday Shopping Days by Retailer

Top Gainers by Key Shopping Days
Consumers’ retail preferences change based on time to Christmas.  Gainers in terms of relative in-store visits were incredibly diverse across a week in December (Super Saturday, Christmas Eve, and Day After Christmas).  Only American Eagle and Victoria’s Secret made the top five in these three days, while the rest of the retailers were unique.  American Eagle was also the highest ranked retailer for Black Friday.

Top Gaining Retailers by Holiday Shopping Day

Wireless Carrier Retail Market Share
With the carrier retail outlets, market share is always in flux where a few percentage points mean the difference between #1 and #2 in the market, or #3 and #4. This level of fluctuation highlights that there are opportunities to increase share in the market as well as identifying strong and weak players.

Wireless Carrier Store Market Share

Big Box Retailer Market Share

Big Box Retailer Market Share

Department Store Market Share

Department Store Market Share





Just in Time for the Holidays, Placed Launches Give 2 Charity App

The holiday season is a time for giving. But finding the time and money to donate is often a difficult task.


Today, Placed launched a new app called Give 2 Charity that makes donating to charities easy and accessible to anyone with a smartphone. The free app lets users earn points toward monetary donations to several leading charities in exchange for opting in to location measurement.

Donate to Charities


Here’s a look at some of our favorite charities users will have a chance to donate to: Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Action Against Hunger, Sierra Club and the Humane Society. People who download the Give 2 Charity app can be assured that 100% of the proceeds are donated directly to the charity they select.



Charitable contributions are made possible by users agreeing to location measurement through the Give 2 Charity app.  Measured locations are aggregated across thousands of users to provide meaningful analytics to third parties.  Location data is always aggregated, never shared on an individual basis, and not used for ad targeting.  Donors may opt out of giving at any time simply by uninstalling the application.


Donate with Your Phone


We hope you will download the Give 2 Charity app and join us in giving back this holiday season and all year long! Give 2 Charity is available today on Android and coming soon for iPhone. Download the Android app or sign up for first access to the iPhone app here.


Don’t forget to stay connected. Like Give 2 Charity on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cutting through the Noise in Location Measurement

In a recent conversation with ClickZ, Placed founder and CEO David Shim discussed the latest developments in the burgeoning location measurement industry. Gaining true value from location data starts with accurate location measurement. But how do we cut through the noise in location data to find the correct insights that help drive marketing strategies? David discusses this issue in the ClickZ article, The Evolving Location Measurement Industry. Below is an excerpt from the post:


In early experiments we found that 90 percent+ of the time assigning the closest place to a latitude and longitude resulted in an incorrect match. This level of noise impacts a marketer’s ability to effectively leverage location insights into mobile ad targeting decisions. On the flip side for a publisher the ability to target based on a mobile device’s location is generally limited to 100 meters, the length of a football field.


To more accurately determine location, Placed looks at a series of features that include latitude and longitudes, location source, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, etc. By treating location as more than a single value, we are able to cluster sets of data points to infer a more accurate location. This location is then contextualized to a set of nearby places, which are determined by a set of features including proximity, popularity, and category.


Check out the full article to read more on the changing landscape of location measurement.

Can Businesses Use Hyperlocal to Leverage Customers’ Politics?

There has been significant coverage about the differences in Democrats and Republicans, but to date there hasn’t been any analysis of real world activities associated with political affiliation.  Voting Democratic or Republican plays a part in which establishments we step foot in and which ones we don’t, from grocery stores to restaurants and from retailers to gas stations, presenting brands and candidates with very powerful insights into their constituents.


Whether you’re a political campaign strategist or a marketing manager for a brick-and-mortar retailer, understanding the offline behaviors of your audience provides rich insights to help you build a more complete profile of your audience, their preferences, and what this means to your organization.


For instance, political digital ad spend is expected to increase sixfold from 2008 to 2012.  In this most recent election cycle candidates started experimenting more with mobile to engage voters and potential converts. As the shift to smartphones continues, political dollars will move towards mobile and with that we will see the advancement in sophisticated mobile advertising campaigns that utilize mobile’s most unique and valuable trait — location. Utilizing this location and place insight, strategists can build location-based campaigns that target loyal party affiliates with “get out the vote” or “donate” messaging, or potential converts by targeting businesses that reach parity for Democrats and Republicans, and are likely to include a more moderate and potentially high-conversion visitor base.


On the flip side, businesses that better understand the political composition of their visitor base could anticipate and react more quickly to potential issues that result from partnerships with personalities that have a strong political leaning. For instance, the backlash resulting from Donald Trump’s tweets surrounding President Obama’s reelection resulted in more than 670k signatures on a petition to remove Trump’s product line from Macy’s. Utilizing this place data, Macy’s could quickly quantify that Democrats were 31% more likely to visit a Macy’s and that Trump’s comments against a Democratic President could potentially impact Macy’s brand perception across its most loyal customers.


In an effort to build an accurate “places profile” of today’s electorate, we analyzed the activities of opted-in panelists via their mobile device to determine the businesses whose customers lean left and those that lean right. This data is an aggregation of pilot participants of Placed Panels. Democratic and Republican affiliation was determined at the county level where Obama or Romney won by greater than a five percent margin.


Top Businesses for Democrats and Republicans


A look at the top places visited by Democrats and Republicans found some interesting insights into the political composition of many popular businesses:




  • Grocery Stores – Trader Joe’s: Democrats were nearly twice as likely to visit Trader Joe’s compared to the average U.S. citizen (index of 174). They were also more likely to visit Whole Foods (index of 139) and Safeway grocery stores (index of 134).
  • Restaurants – Dunkin’ Donuts: Democrats were 60 percent more likely to frequent Dunkin’ Donuts than the national average. They also displayed a higher tendency to visit Starbucks, White Castle, Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits, Chipotle and Jamba Juice.
  • Retail — Macy’s: Democrats had the strongest skew towards shopping at Macy’s, with the Apple Store and CVS also skewing toward the left.



  • Gas Stations — Love’s Travel Stops: Republicans had a high tendency to visit travel centers and gas stations overall compared to the national average. People in Republican counties were 2X more likely to visit Love’s travel stops, Pilot Flying J travel centers and Sheetz.
  • Restaurants — Sonic Drive-In: Republicans were more than twice as likely to visit Sonic. Hooters, Whataburger, Hardee’s and Arby’s also skewed to the right.
  • Retail — Dollar General: Republicans were 2X more likely to visit Dollar General compared to the national average.

The impact of quantifying the physical world goes beyond politics.  For example, Placed quantified the effects of Hurricane Sandy on real-world behaviors taking assumptions and converted them into action able insights that could help governments, businesses, and organizations plan and react more efficiently to specific events like Hurricane Sandy.


Looking at location data helps turn what was once vague anecdotal assumptions into factual conclusions that have the potential to powerfully impact how we understand, predict, react, and change human behavior.


This article originally appeared on Street Fight.

Black Friday Retail Recap: This Year’s Winners Based on Real World Visits

The dust has settled on Black Friday and early reports are touting the record-breaking billions spent by consumers. But which retailers were the most successful at turning the Black Friday hype into a flood of in-store foot traffic?


In order to better understand how Black Friday retail fared this season, Placed took a look at shoppers’ behaviors utilizing our location analytics platform to determine this season’s early top gainers. This data is an aggregation of opt-in panelists from the Placed Panels pilot participants.


The study found some interesting, and rather surprising results:


  • American Eagle, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and J.C. Penney saw the largest increase of in-store visits on Black Friday compared to their November average. In-store foot traffic increased by a factor greater than 4X to these four retailers.
  • In the case of American Eagle, Placed was able to accurately quantify the influx of in-store traffic, projecting the retailer’s positive earnings announced nearly a week later, and beating analysts by at least a day.
  • Retailers that opened their doors on Thursday night, including Toys ‘R’ Us, Sears and Kmart, saw less relative growth in visitation on Black Friday compared to competitors that were closed on Thursday, as Thanksgiving Creep meant more dispersed in-store visitation across the two-day period.
  • Walmart and Target, which both opened their doors on Thanksgiving, saw gains with Black Friday, but not enough to crack the top 20.
  • Among other notable retailers, Best Buy saw Black Friday visits increase by nearly 3.5X while Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s all saw visits increase by more than 3.5X.
  • The Apple Store ranked 5th as highlighting strong demand for its products combined with rare discounts.

Although the online channel continues to grow its share of the retail transactions, offline sales still reign supreme driving more than $9 in every $10 retail dollars spent. With the lack of offline insights into shopping behaviors though, one would think the share of dollars was reversed between the offline and online worlds. Quantifying actual shopper foot traffic unlocks a wealth of insights into consumer behavior, retail market share, and competitive intelligence, providing the potential to significantly impact the bottom line for retailers not only during Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, but all year long.


This article originally appeared in Adotas.


Black Friday Retail Winners by Store Visits