iPhone 11 Release: Apple Store Foot Traffic vs. Carrier Store Foot Traffic


With each release of the new iPhone – a coveted piece of technology for many people – there is always excitement and hype. The new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro recently hit stores on Friday, September 20 and it was certainly no different. We were curious… with all this buzz, which Apple store would see the highest foot traffic on release day compared to the days prior to the big release? We also wondered if shoppers would rush off to their closest Apple store on release day or if they preferred visiting their local carrier store to make the big purchase.

So, we put our Geo-Fencing with Event Targeting solution to work, creating fences around six popular Apple stores (as ranked by Business Insider), as well as the closest carrier stores in proximity to each Apple store for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. We set up temporal targeting fences around each location in order to analyze the foot traffic of mobile users seen within each fence on a standard day prior to the release day, the release day, as well as the Saturday following the big release of the iPhone. We looked at major stores on the West Coast (Pasadena, CA and Scottsdale, AZ), the Central US (Chicago, IL and Dallas, TX), and the East Coast (Miami, FL and Greenwich, CT), to uncover how buying behaviors changes across the country. Check out some of our findings below.


Consumers are Loyal to Apple Stores.

We collected data from September 19 to September 21 in order to identify the change in foot traffic based on mobile users in the days before, during and after the new iPhone hit stores. In a world where online shopping is growing at unprecedented rates, it’s clear that a large group of consumers still visit brick and mortar for new item purchases, including the oh-so-coveted iPhone. Other than Greenwich’s Apple Avenue store, all locations saw a significant increase in foot traffic at the Apple Store on release day compared to the prior day. Pasadena’s Apple location saw a 79.52% increase, followed by Miami’s Apple Lincoln Road store at 60.09% increase, Dallas’s Apple Knox Avenue location at 32.44% increase, Chicago’s Apple Lincoln Park store at 30.17% increase, and Scottsdale’s Apple Fashion Square location at 22.48% increase as compared to the day prior.


Carrier Stores Drive Large Crowds on Release Day, Too.

As for local carrier stores in close proximity to our targeted Apple Stores, many saw an increase in foot traffic on release day as compared to the day prior, as well. Pasadena’s AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint locations all saw increases, 6.29%, 19.19% and 27.27% respectively. Chicago’s Sprint location came out on top with a 24.60% increase in foot traffic on release day as compared to the day prior. Dallas had a unique situation where the only carrier store that saw an increase in foot traffic on release day as compared to the day prior was T-Mobile with an 11.30% increase. T-Mobile was also the winning store location in Greenwich, CT with a 4.81% increase in foot traffic on release day.


Apple Stores vs. Carrier Stores: The Manufacture Storefront Came Out on Top

Although there was a large spike in foot traffic on the release day as compared to the day prior for both Apple Stores and carrier store locations, we saw a greater percentage increase at Apple locations as opposed to carrier stores in most targeted cities. At the end of the day, it’s the exact same phone at the exact same price; however, this analysis shows that the brand is viewed as separate from the service and consumers value making big-ticket purchases, like the new iPhone 11, at the manufacture’s storefront.


Fight the Crowds or Hold Out for the Weekend?

Surprisingly, we found that consumers prefer to shop at their local Apple store and/or carrier store on the day of the release as opposed to waiting for the hype to settle down that weekend. Out of all the 30 stores we tracked, all of them reported higher foot traffic on Friday (release day) as compared to Saturday (the day following the release).


How do Buying Behaviors Change Across the Country?

Our research found that foot traffic numbers changed from day-to-day and varied by city, showing that local shopping preferences and habits can vary across the country. Most notably, we found that the West Coast consumers are loyal AT&T and Apple store shoppers on release day as compared to the day prior. The Central Region’s preference leans towards Apple and T-Mobile, while the East Coast has varying preferences across the board.

All things considered, this exercise provided an informed glimpse into how shopping habits and preferences vary by city – demonstrating just one of the many capabilities of our geo-fencing solution. As the continued adoption and use of GPS-enabled smartphones grow, more and more marketers will shift location-based marketing to the forefront of their advertising efforts if they haven’t done so already. By using this real-time data, advertisers can communicate with their audience to send content, offers, or other location-based information in order to influence behavior, such as increase visits to a store or location.

Simpli.fi’s Geo-Fencing applications have multiple use cases, including an addressable programmatic advertising solution that allows advertisers to target individuals at the household-level with mobile, video and/or OTT/CTV ads. Interested in learning more? Reach out to us at simpli.fi@shiftcomm.com.