While You’re Here, Why Not….

By Michael McEnaneyAugust 6, 2015

When a close friend informs you they are “in the area,” the typical response is “why not stop over for a visit?” The retail world may be adopting the same philosophy as location-based marketing and location targeting techniques are beginning to ramp up.

A recent study conducted by Cisco claims over half the people surveyed said they would use coupons if sent to them while they were near the store delivering the coupon. The tech for this location-based targeting is on the way.

“It sounds crazy, but businesses today can’t think that being on a 24/7 response schedule is a sufficient enough model to handle their customer’s needs,” began Martha Refik, a New Jersey-based retail analyst. “Now it’s becoming about anticipation of needs during pre-journey, proximate, in-location and post-visit phases of their customers' day-to-day whereabouts.”

Refik added, “It seems ridiculous and even invasive, but it’s not as if mobile habits are all about this kind of convenience and about consumers feeling like, ‘yes, I’m out and near your location, what do you have for me today?’“

Among the best recent examples of effective location-based marketing technology is the launch of Apple’s 2014 iBeacon, the company’s Bluetooth-powered location system. It appears many retailers are now jumping onboard as consumers have begun to look forward to the mobile tap on the shoulder they receive when their smartphone comes within range of an iBeaconed retailer.

By 2016, 90 percent of smartphones will be enabled with GPS technology so the foundation for location-based services is most certainly being laid. It’s no surprise the total value of the global, real-time, mobile location-based advertising and marketing market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2017 according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Apple’s launch of the iBeacon technology last year prompted marketers to pack brick-and-mortar stores with a variety of location-sensitive devices that send out push notifications to shoppers who have downloaded a particular brand’s mobile app.

Now, big retailers like Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay are even using beacons to switch up mobile creative based on where a shopper is within a store. As the customer walks from perfume to womenswear, they get dinged about a sale item or offered a discount just as they enter the new department.

“We are all so conditioned to immediately respond to our the text and email sounds on our smartphones, we look now without even thinking,” Refik continued. “And if your mind is on a particular product, and you receive a special offer on that product at the exact moment you’re shopping…bingo! That’s just marketers’ gold.”

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