The stagnant economy and increasing popularity of the internet has changed shopping behavior. Consumers can use several channels simultaneously when reviewing and purchasing products. Consequently, consumers spend less time in a shopping center. This study investigates the acceptance and influence of mobile promotions on shopping behavior in a shopping center. Specifically, the effect of mobile promotions on consumers’ tendency to visit farther away located stores and their visit duration was measured.

An experiment was conducted as part of a survey amongst 731 respondents in three Dutch district shopping centers during Dec.2015-Feb.2016. Respondents were presented on an IPad with three promotions from different store categories (differing in value) at different positions in the shopping centers. They were asked if they would visit each of the promotion stores of which the location was shown to them on a map. Their reactions to these promotions in combination with their shopping behavior (stores that they had visited and planned to visit) were used to measure the distance they covered during their shopping visit as well as the change in this distance when including a promotion store.

For the analyses first, a Geographic Information System was used to measure the various distances. Secondly, Logistic regression models were estimated to predict consumer’s reaction to mobile promotions for five store categories (grocery, fashion, personal care, jewelry, and catering) based on the explanatory variables including personal characteristics and aspects of their shopping visit.

Results showed that promotions are most effective for personal care and catering stores and least effective for jewelry stores. Also, consumers are unlikely to accept mobile promotions from grocery, fashion and catering stores if they have to increase the distance they had planned to cover during their visit to reach the promotion store. Mobile promotions therefore seem ineffective in order to achieve longer distances by the consumer in a shopping center. However, consumers may visit promotion stores located along their planned route, consequently increasing the number of stores visited and the duration of their stay in the shopping center. Other variables affecting the acceptance of a promotion are age, shopping motivation, education level, interest in a mobile app, promotion channel preference, and whether the promotion was shown just when the consumer arrived at the shopping center.