Location, location, location, an expression long associated with real estate, is just about everything in retail mobile campaigns, too.
Simply, mobile users have different interests and motivations depending on where they are. And understanding that, and using location information with other contextual elements like time of day and previous activity, is key for marketers to deliver personal experiences that drive sales, engagement, and loyalty.
The good news is that in seeking relevant experiences, mobile users in large numbers are willing to “show” themselves in a particular area.
Specifically, according to a new study, 63% of consumers in a store would consent to give a retailer their location at a given moment in return for deals. The percentage is consistent with many other reports that show that many mobile users have gotten past any privacy concerns, choosing instead to concentrate on value that they could receive from brands or retailers.
Marketers have the ability to use one or more technology solutions in location-focused retail mobile campaigns. Beacons have received much of the attention in the last 12 months, but geofences have proven to be valuable as well.
Let’s look at each individually.
Beacons are small, inexpensive pieces of hardware that broadcast a Bluetooth signal intended to be recognized when a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device is in close proximity. Beacons work in conjunction with a mobile app and an associated content/campaign management platform to enable the app to identify its location and proximity to points or items of interest.
Beacons are tools to reach consumers who download a mobile app and grant permission to be reached through local notifications.
When done with the best interests of opted-in mobile device owners in mind:
- Marketers can enhance customer interaction by providing localized, relevant content
- Mobile campaigns can be managed and measured through access to real-time, detailed customer data
- Businesses can experience an increase in customer app use, leading to customer loyalty
- Beacons can play an important role in completing the omnichannel customer profile – delivering an understanding of in-store activity
Retailers and brands have the ability through beacons to draw attention back to previously dormant retailer apps at precisely the time when a consumer is shopping.
It works this way. The mobile user does not have to have the app open for communications via beacons to reach him or her.
In fact, if a consumer agreed to receive messages from a brand or retailer or publisher, he or she will get a local notification when in proximity of a beacon that has been associated with that particular app.
Then, a brand or retailer can entice the shopper with an offer or other incentive to open the app, visit the store, and spend money there.
Now on to geofencing.
Geofencing is a location-based service that sends messages to smartphone users who enter a defined geographic area. It’s important to note that geofence campaigns are permission-based, eliminating the scenario told through Tom Cruise’s character in “Minority Report.”
In the 2002 film, a talking billboard blasted Chief John Anderton with this communication that makes us flinch all these years later — “Good afternoon, Mr. Yakamoto. How did you like that three-pack of tank tops you bought last time you were in?”
Instead, a campaign like this one brought value – to those who agreed to receive deals, 1-800-Flowers sent 20% off bouquet offers in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Another campaign told opted-in mobile users where they could find the closest Blue Moon beer when they landed at an airport within a geofence.
Of course, any location-based program should be tied to a CRM program. Mobile marketing automation enables users to factor in all previous activities, as well as stated and inferred preferences, to produce campaigns that deliver in the “mobile moment”.
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