Push Notifications
5 min

Location-Based Push Notifications – The Most Creative Use Cases


It’s Sunday morning. Jill is getting ready for her weekly shopping trip to the nearby mall. Having woken up late, she rushes through the morning chores, zips to the supermarket, and starts picking up the items she needs. While she’s waiting in the billing queue, a message pops up on her mobile. It’s her favorite coffee shop!

“Hey, grab a cool frappe at your nearest store and get a free size upgrade.”

Great. The nearest café is a stone’s throw away, and a chilled frappe indeed sounds great after the busy morning.

What we saw is an example of location-based marketing – a direct marketing tactic that’s known to drive some phenomenal results. That’s because location-based marketing allows for content personalization at a very contextual level, enabling marketers to deliver actionable content to users when they’re most likely to act on it.

In the above example, Jill received an in-app notification to purchase a coffee while she was in the vicinity of the cafe she regularly visits on Sundays. Taking a cue from her past behavior and location data, she was sent an automated push notification offering a deal on her most ordered drink, making a compelling case for her to head to the cafe and redeem the promotion.

Most Creative Location-Based Push-Notification Campaigns

With stricter regulations around privacy and data sharing, marketers who wish to leverage location marketing must offer something valuable in return to consumers or risk users opting out of data tracking or collection. Instead of focussing on advertising, they need to build tangible value into their campaigns apart from making them highly relevant and personalized.

Here are some outstanding examples to inspire you and get you started. You may also read these best practices to improve the performance of your push notification campaigns.

1. Barneys, New York

Barneys uses location-based push messaging to personalize user journeys by sharing information on available stocks and recommendations based on recently opened content.

Users receive two alerts on opening the Barneys New York app for the first time. The first alert asks them to permit push notifications, and the second is to enable location data sharing.

Once the user grants access, they start receiving notifications based on what’s in stock and also in their mobile shopping bags or wish lists. They also receive recommendations based on the content opened by them in The Window, which is Barneys’ in-house publication.

Additionally, Barneys’ also provides recommendations for dining and sightseeing in the neighborhood to users. The recommendations are location-based, making them highly relevant for shoppers looking to grab a bite or take a break and don’t directly promote Barney’s products, making the interactions feel more genuine.

push notifications barneys

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2. Burger King’s #WhopperDetour Campaign

Burger King’s campaign is one of the most creative examples to go down in the history of location-based marketing. The company used their mobile app to send alerts to customers near or within a McDonald’s store, ‘swerving’ them to order a Whopper instead.

As part of this campaign, smartphone users within 600 feet of most McDonald’s locations received an alert to purchase a Burger King Whopper sandwich for a cent followed by directions to the nearest store.

A viral video marketing campaign supported the promotion. It showed confused McDonald’s employees receiving several requests for Whoppers.

The cheeky campaign ran for a week and turned out to be a huge success. It was reported that customers redeemed the promotion around 20 times more than any previous app offer. The Burger King app also rose to the top position in the iTunes App Store’s food and drink category from the ninth place due to this promotion.

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3. Uber

Uber heavily relies on location-based push notifications for drivers to earn fares. It uses geofencing to create fences around hotels, clubs, and airports to notify users of cab availability. For instance, when users deplane, Uber sends them a push notification to let them know there are Uber drivers in the vicinity to drive them to their destination.

Example of Uber push notification alerting user(s) of Uber drivers in the vicinity to drive them to their destination

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While this is a simple application of the concept, it’s proven very effective for the company.

4. American Eagle

American Eagle teamed up with Shopkick to give users in-app coins for trying out products in the trial room. They used location data to notify users about the scheme once they entered an American Eagle retail store.

What was outstanding about the campaign is that the company only targeted users once they were inside a store to keep the messaging highly relevant. Once the users verified that they were actually inside a store, they were led to the Shopkick app that gave them the next offer of earning points for trying out clothes in the dressing room.


push notifications American Eagle
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5. Starbucks

Starbucks uses location-based messaging to advertise drinks to interested users. Mainly, they send a push notification when users cross their stores or visit a nearby area.

Of course, advertising a favorite to a loyal customer isn’t helpful. But Starbucks creates special events around its ‘specials’ to get more user footfall in their stores. For instance, they’ll remind you of the happy hour special if you’re in the vicinity or notify you of other promotions to get you through the door.

Besides location-based offers and notifications, Starbucks also sends personalized app notifications. So, if you mostly prefer a Flat White, Starbucks will send you a message enticing you to grab a Flat White if you’re in the vicinity of a store.

push notifications starbucks
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Merging the Digital and Physical Divide

Push notifications are amazingly efficient at delivering relevant, time-sensitive, and hyper-personalized messages to users. At MoEngage, we help you leverage your customer’s geographic location to deliver highly relevant messages in real-time for a better engagement at physical touchpoints. We also give you in-depth analytics to measure the impact of your location-based campaigns. You can read about the possibilities of location-based marketing for retail or get in touch for a quick demo to supercharge your marketing with our location-based services.

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