Location based technologies
Location based technologies provide a host of opportunities when it comes to providing consumers with relevant, meaningful messaging and content, particularly within the retail environment. The technology is being used successfully overseas, with a number of well known international brands reaping the benefits. However, according to Paradigm Group’s Nolan Daniel, South African retailers still have a way to go in terms of its successful implementation.
“Location based technology provides retailers with the ability to deliver personalised, relevant notifications to consumers on their mobile phones, based on their current location,” Daniel explains. The information is based on past purchasing behaviour, consumer interest and location, which allows consumers to receive notifications that are of value to them and will not be perceived as spam. In a nutshell, location based technology provides retailers with new ways to monetise their products and services.
A great deal of information can be gleaned from the notifications. The location based marketing tools allow retailers to leverage Big Data to identify patterns in consumer behaviour, ultimately allowing them to engage with consumers in a more relevant way and deliver a more extensive range of products and services to their target markets.
Location based technology works particularly well within the retail environment. “First off, it drives traffic into the store,” points out Daniel. He adds that American statistics have revealed that these notifications are opened 40% more than traditional SMS campaigns, while some stores have seen a 200% increase in the use of their mobile apps. “This technology allows for constant, relevant engagement with consumers. Not to mention the advantages of Big Data Analytics, which also provides retailers with important information such as where consumers linger in a store, how many pass through at a particular time and what attracts them.”
One of the greatest barriers to the adoption of the technology is the fact that retailers are unaware it exists – or if they do know of it, they don’t know how to implement it. “While the technology is proven and has been around for years, it can be tricky to implement without the right skills, particularly when you take into account the number of different platforms and devices used by consumers, all of which have different nuances,” Daniel reports. Add to this is the challenge from a consumer perspective – they too need to be educated around what it is and how it works, as well as assured that their privacy and security concerns are prioritised.
Overcoming these challenges is relatively simple. From a consumer perspective, a degree of education is needed, while retailers need to take a ‘less is more’ approach and resist the urge to bombard them with notifications. For retailers, it makes sense to outsource their location based technology to a tech savvy company, so that they are essentially purchasing a cloud based solution that is tested, tracked and maintained by experts.
“Mobile and location based technologies complement one another, providing retailers the opportunity to identify the location of their consumers at any given time and engage with them to deliver the right products, at the right place and time,” Daniel concludes.
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