The youth apparel retailer boosted its conversion rate on party dresses by targeting women who frequent nightlife venues.

Urban Outfitters Inc. tapped into its app users’ location data to boost sales of party dresses.

The apparel retailer, No. 39 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, launched a one-day campaign in October using its app location data and data from marketing vendor Appboy and location marketing platform PlaceIQ Inc. The goal of the campaign was to use real-world behavior to provide a targeted customer message.

Urban Outfitters targeted a group of young women who had downloaded the retailer’s app and who went to bar or other nightlife venue at least once in the last 30 days in the U.S. It then sent a push notification to their smartphones about the retailer’s party dresses. The alerts read: “A party dress for every occasion. Shop now.” Or “Velvet, sequins, mesh: find the perfect party dress right here.” When a shopper tapped on the notification, the party dress page opened in the app, using a marketing method called deep linking.

The targeted group of women made 75% more purchases within a day of receiving the mobile alert compared with the control group of females who had previously looked at or bought an Urban Outfitters cocktail dress but didn’t frequent nightlife venues. The control group was about 20% larger than the location-targeted group, Appboy says. When a consumer downloads the Urban Outfitter’s app she fills in her gender and opts-in to sharing her location. Because of Appboy’s conversion event tracking tool, Urban Outfitters could tell if the purchase occurred on a desktop, via mobile web or in the app as a result of the smartphone push notification, Appboy says.

Not only did the target group’s conversion rate increase, but consumers in that group also spent more than the control group, says Andrew Rauch, senior director of global digital marketing at Urban Outfitters.


“Effectively communicating with users through this location-specific marketing led to a 146% increase in campaign revenue,” Rauch says.

Urban Outfitters has run several location-based marketing campaigns with Appboy, which declined to reveal costs. Of the 275 retailers in Internet Retailer’s 2017 Mobile 500 Guide, 120 of the retailers have an app that is location aware, according to Urban Outfitters is No. 59 in the Mobile 500.