DOI: 10.1287/isre.2021.0206 ISSN: 1047-7047

Mobile Push vs. Pull Targeting and Geo-Conquesting

Dominik Molitor, Martin Spann, Anindya Ghose, Philipp Reichhart
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Management Information Systems

Firms have two distinct options when delivering content to consumers’ mobile devices: mobile push and mobile pull. Mobile push delivers firm-initiated (ad) content directly to consumers, while mobile pull requires consumers to initiate requests for (ad) content. This study tests the impact of mobile push and mobile pull on consumers’ coupon redemption behavior in a large-scale randomized field experiment in a geo-conquesting setting, targeting customers located around competitor retail stores with mobile coupons to drive them to stores of the focal retailer. The results show that mobile push increases coupon redemption rates by 6.0%, with substantial heterogeneity based on app-specific use experience and store density: App-specific use experience negatively moderates the effect of mobile push delivery on redemptions, likely because both usage experience and push notifications reduce app-specific search costs, thereby acting as substitutes for one another. In areas with higher store density, the positive effect of mobile push delivery on the redemption likelihood is greater, suggesting that push notifications can highlight the focal coupon among alternative store choices, thereby reducing consumer switching costs. These findings have important implications for retailers and brands in creating competitive mobile targeting campaigns that effectively leverage both mobile push and pull delivery mechanisms.

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