As information improves and consumers are doing everything on the go, brick and mortar stores can capitalize on consumer’s tendency to do their shopping-related via mobile. While online retailers have taken advantage of mobile marketing tools for a while, offline retailers also have options that work to entice consumers to visit their physical storefronts. Technologies that are GPS-enabled like location-based targeted marketing can mean an increase in profits for brick and mortar stores.
What is location-based marketing?
Technologies have advanced enough to allow retailers to earn customer’s loyalty by reaching them where they are. While the initial adoption rate of this technology has been gradual, it is expected to surge as technology continues to improve. Here are three types of location-based marketing currently being used by retailers.
This type of marketing means businesses send a targeted message to people of a specific geographic area. Consumers from different areas have different needs, so it’s a great tool for marketers to tailor their message to the needs of a specific location. Better customer targeting means your message will be more effective and have better results.
Smaller stores can capitalize on this technology by using it to understand their customers better. For example, a sporting goods store in New York can tailor its offers and promotions by knowing where the majority of Mets fans live compared to Yankees fans.
In order to use this technology, the store must have an app that customers can download. Downloading the app is considered opting in to the marketing. Businesses set up a virtual perimeter around their business, and when people enter that area, it automatically sends them a notification of the day’s deals and other information.
An example of using this technology would be is a local restaurant set up a notification for $1 off drinks to be delivered to diners’ phones when they walk into the establishment. The diners who may have intended to only drink water might now order a drink since they were made aware of the offer.
Beacon technology was introduced by Apple in 2013 with the release of iBeacon. As an answer for Android phones, Google released Eddystone beacons in mid-2015. Beacons are Bluetooth devices that retailers can install throughout their stores to target customers with high accuracy in specific locations like certain aisles or the store’s entrance. Beacon technology is only used by a few large retailers right now.
This type of location-based marketing allows retailers to send offers directly to a customer if they have the correct app installed. For example, if a customer was in the cleaning aisle of a store, a notification would be sent that said a certain brand of soap was currently 20% off.
How to make the most of location-based marketing
If done correctly, location-based marketing can open the door to huge opportunities for retailers. Mobile marketing is an extension of a business’s storefront, and using location-based tactics allows brands to deliver a personalized experience to their consumers. Here are a couple of ways to use this new technology effectively.
- Respect privacy
Consumer privacy is an important concern for companies to have. However, with the consent of the customer, location-based marketing can make meaningful connections between brand and consumer. The key is to give consumers control of what they see. Allow them to opt-in to push notification and GPS-enabled content, and give them options for the frequency of contact. Let them know exactly what is being done and how it will enhance their experience.
- Make it convenient
Use the technology to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. If things are faster and easier for consumers, they are likely to spend more money. One company that has perfected the convenience factor is Starbucks. If customers are within a certain proximity of a store, the Starbucks app allows them to pre-order and pay for their drink before they stop in. They use location-based marketing to save customers time, and entice them to come back.
Downsides to location-based marketing
While the technology looks to have a bright future, there are a few downsides to consider. For one, location-based marketing often requires a native app download. Many smaller stores might not have the ability to develop an app, or they won’t have a large number of downloads. Investing in location-based could be a gamble, since there isn’t much data on how customers are behaving towards the technology. Additionally, if not done correctly, customers could get turned off by the constant notifications
Mobile marketing is going to a whole new level with the advanced technology of location-based marketing. Brick and mortar store owners can remove any inconvenience from customer interactions and give them a highly personalized experience.