Location-based targeting has changed the face of retail, both online and in-stores. Geo-targeting allows marketers to detect a user’s location and serve them offers based on…you guessed it: their location! This high level of relevancy is a huge benefit to brands and consumers.
Here are the top ways that this technology has impacted retail as we know it.
Locally Relevant Ad Campaigns
A retailer can track nearby consumers through geo-tracking and accordingly give them directions to its closest stores. Why talk about the chain as a whole when you can mention the closest location?
By running ads showing where to view, touch, and purchase their products, retailers can close the gap between brand engagement and product purchase. Click through rates can improve dramatically by adding something of local relevance, whether the desired outcome is to drive traffic in stores or some other form of engagement.
Strategic Brand Awareness
Retailers can also use location marketing for creating brand awareness by claiming a place with broad reach and using display units or SMS, with no call to action. Brands can ‘claim’ a place by associating their messages with physical locations in proximity through geo-fencing. This allows them to reach a large number of people by leveraging geo-targeting and mediums like mobile display. Examples of this would be a ski apparel brand geo-fencing ski resorts, or a luggage brand geo-fencing airports.
Better Mobile Coupons
Retailers can use geolocation technology to send targeted coupons to a specific shopper at a specific location, which is the equivalent to one-to-one personalized marketing. Special gifts, alerts to flash sales and early access are also popular incentives.
Relevant mobile coupons are very helpful to engage shoppers in real time and drive them to a nearby store to make a purchase. In fact, 50 percent of shoppers are more likely to visit a store if they have received a mobile coupon.
More Relevant Communication, Including for Events
Location-based marketing (LBM) is a great opportunity for consumer products brands to connect with their consumers wherever their products are sold, either working with their retailers via co-marketing or engaging with consumers independently from those distribution channels. Using LBM methods enables brands to communicate special offers or discounts, with a call-to-action that lets the consumer know where they can purchase the product or line nearby.
LBM can help the PR department too. Brands can communicate about nearby events organized by the retailer. Specific product launches, demos, or free sample events can all benefit from increased awareness and greater participation from the target audience.
Knowledge of Change in Shopping Patterns
Sometimes, customer shopping patterns change. Did the customer move away, or did they go to the competition?
Geolocation can help businesses assess when customers stop going to a particular store and start going elsewhere, as well as give them a sense on the change shopping pattern. Of course, individual motivations for each and every customer won’t be available, but overall trends can become clear.
Retailers can help sway customers back to them by applying geo-location for better targeting. When customers are walking by a store, likely on their way somewhere else, they can receive a targeted offering. Retailers will only benefit if this is done the right way, otherwise this practice could create an impression of violating privacy.
More Accurate Market Research
Location tools play a key role in market research. Consumer products companies can use location to better understand where, how and when their customers shop offline to market more smartly to these audiences—whether that’s with out-of-home advertising, point of purchase displays or by identifying new partnership opportunities.
How to Enable Geo-Targeting Technology and Activate Personalized Marketing
To be able to stream geolocation data in real-time, a retailer must have the right software to identify the shoppers within the vicinity and for sending automated messages. Geolocation is a prerequisite to for triggering real-time, personalized marketing actions. Without this functionality, it’s not possible to deliver targeted coupons to a specific customer at a given point of time.
To push a promotion or offer to a shopper using geolocation technology, retailers must install the right infrastructure, monitor the data in real-time, clean the data, interpret it using analytical models, and create a rules engine to optimize the customer engagement. To make this work, retailers will need active cooperation from multiple departments and cross-functional teams.
Investing in geolocation, geo-fencing, and geo-targeting is becoming more and more of a necessity for brands that want to deliver a fully personalized customer experience.
Authored by Imran Saeed, Director at Absolutdata Analytics & Research