Businesses are sending more notifications than pre-GDPR, but consumers still opted-in

Tyrone Stewart

Woman smiling smartphoneThough GDPR’s implementation almost a year ago forced marketers to cut down their customer lists on traditional channels, businesses are now sending more notifications to a growing number of mobile app audiences, according to research from customer engagement company Airship.

The study of mobile app permissions across nearly 700m people around the world found that mobile app audiences have increased by 16.6 per cent year-over-year (YoY). At the same time, businesses now average 36 notifications per user per month, representing a jump of 18.4 per cent since last year. Despite this suggesting that consumers are now being bombarded by push notifications, the average opt-in rate is still as high as 67 per cent.

On the other hand, consumers are becoming more selective about sharing their data. The average opt-in rate for use of location data fell from 9.3 per cent to 7.7 per cent overall.

Location data opt-ins differ vary massively depending on the industry. Retail, as you’d expect, is still the leader in location data with an opt-in rate of 21.1 per cent. This, however, represents a decline of 12.8 per cent YoY. The entertainment vertical jumped 43.1 per cent to claim second spot at a 17.6 per cent opt-in rate. This was followed by Travel & Transport (15.1 per cent), Media (12.4 per cent), and Food & Drink (10.2 per cent).

Location sharing also varies dramatically within sub-regions around the world. In Latin America & the Caribbean location the location opt-in rate is 20.3 per cent, a jump of 116 per cent over last year, putting it more than 10 per cent higher than the sub-region with the second more opt-in rate – Northern America (9.7 per cent). In Eastern Asia, opt-in rates are as low as 0.7 per cent.

Differences can also be seen between mobile operating systems with the number of Android users choosing to not allow location data sharing growing by 36 per cent YoY compared to iOS’s reduction of nearly 18 per cent. 35.1 per cent of iOS users only share their location while using an app, known as ‘Foreground Allowed’, a feature which Android will not make available until the release of Android Q.

Moreover, 45 per cent of iOS users are never prompted to enable location sharing, an increase of 14 per cent over last year. Companies prompting users to share their location remained at 82 per cent.

“In an era where consumers are becoming much more selective about the channels they opt-into and the data they share, push notifications continue to prove their value by providing customers valuable information at the precise time and place they need it,” said Mike Stone, SVP of marketing, Airship. “For today’s ‘show me’ consumers, great customer experiences trump the best advertising campaigns. These highly contextual, increasingly rich and actionable messages enable brands to build genuine relationships by proactively engaging and supporting customers at the moments that mean the most.”