People’s buying habits are changing by the day and it’s difficult for retailers to keep up with the ever-increasing expectations of their customers. More and more people are buying online whether it is apparel, electronics, toys, grocery etc. with only occasional trips to malls and retail locations when they want to return something or need something the same day. People have stopped going to physical stores for touch and feel experience, window shopping and long weekend sales mainly because the online experiences are such that the user gets a near physical experience right at their desktop or mobile device. Even though mobile commerce is mere 10-15% of the total US eCommerce market, the users spend considerable amount of time on mobile device for browsing and researching before ending up making the purchase on desktop or in store.
With all this change the traditional brick and mortar companies are feeling pressurized and losing business to online giants like Amazon. The traditional super giants like Walmart, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Target etc. are either closing stores or investing heavily in stepping up their online presence in order to compete with Amazon.
In order to win customers, it is important for the brick and mortar businesses to invest into new ways of location based marketing to lure the people already in the vicinity of their location to drive them into the store. As mobile usage is increasing, the users expect businesses to reach out to them with offers relevant to them rather than they searching through generic coupons, offers and emails to find what they are looking for.
Here I will discuss five ways how businesses can incorporate location based marketing as part of their digital marketing efforts to ensure they see more foot traffic.
- A lot of digital marketing means such as email marketing, coupons, flyers etc. are simply not enough to pull people out of the comfort of their homes to malls and stores for shopping. These offers generally target previous customers, loyalty card holders, registered online users, and people who have shown interest previously in the products and mostly end up in trash and spam filters annoying users with information overload. Businesses need to send the offers to the users right when they need it or when they are around the vicinity of their business.
- It is very important for businesses and retailers to know their customer including their likes and dislikes so that the offers sent to them are relevant. Usual web analytics to track users is just a starting point but not sufficient. Businesses today track user browsing and shopping history for logged in users to offer personalized experiences while often ignore non-logged in users and the ones who have never shopped at the business before. Businesses need to track user behavior on the devices irrespective of the user identity and look for patterns and browsing history to track the products users are interested in. This information then needs to be utilized to create personalized experiences and to send offers when users are near the retailer’s physical location.
- Not all businesses can be online; eCommerce cannot certainly replace services industry, restaurants and pubs but the mobile savvy customers have similar expectations from them. If I go out to have dinner and have decided to go to a certain restaurant, but the restaurant next door sends me discount offer for my favorite entree when I am there, I am likely to change my mind and visit the other restaurant. Businesses should engage into push marketing to the users near their vicinity and let the users opt-in for receiving these offers instead of spamming everyone.
- Often times the users either forget to take printed coupons when they go out for shopping. Most users delete email offers and coupons to later realize that they needed it. How many times it has happened to you when standing at the checkout line at the retail location, you start frantically searching in your handbag or mobile device for the right coupon but you don’t find it. Apps need to be location aware and businesses should send the coupons to the users when they are at the location and when they are most likely to use it.
- The malls, outlet centers and retail locations allow various ways to precisely track a users location, by connecting to ibeacons, wi-fi and using mapping apis to know users’ precise location either outdoor or indoor. After GPS positioning, indoor positioning is the next big wave which almost all the mobile apps need to be aware of. The more businesses know about the users indoor location, and how and where they are spending time while shopping, the more information businesses can gather about the users shopping behavior in order to send them more relevant offers.
In all this, it is very important to address users’ privacy concerns. No one wants to be watched and tracked all the time. If the apps can track users’ behavior without knowing who they are and their personal identity, the users will be more comfortable and opt-in to allow apps to track their location and data.
As retailers’ apps mature and competition better utilizes their customers’ location you don’t want to be left behind. Zorang can provide businesses with the best solution to realize the potential of location based marketing and help you get ahead of your competition. Give us a call or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.