Commerce today happens on a spectrum. Online retail spending is exploding, and this is blurring the lines between online and offline transactions. The web will account for 7.4% of total retail spending in 2016 (about $1.67 trillion), and mobile commerce represents one of the fastest areas of growth. According to a BI Intelligence report, mobile commerce will make up 45% of total e-commerce ($284 billion) by 2020.

Mobile devices are transforming the way people shop. We use our phones to decide what store to visit, make spur-of-the-moment purchases, and compare prices. In fact, 71% of shoppers believe that they will get a better deal online than in stores. Mobile devices bring online commerce into the physical world, which means most transactions cannot be lumped definitively into one category.

As online and mobile commerce continue to rise, and as the barriers between “online” and “offline” continue to fade, it is more important than ever to understand customer behaviors across the two channels and connect them. The most efficient way for marketers and advertisers to connect the two is using mobile location data, and through understanding consumer behavior in the real world.