Modern mobile devices are connected to so many location-based technologies, including beacons, GPS and Wi-Fi, that the opportunities for brands and businesses to engage their customers, often as they shop, are greater than they have ever been before. However, there are many challenges that brands face if they want to ensure their efforts actually engage potential customers.
Key amongst these is the need for the tech used by such companies to keep up with the ever-changing locations of customers by recognising the differences between beacons and Wi-Fi connectivity in order to deliver a desirable user experience. While making use of demographical data and browsing histories can help in this regard, it is the challenge presented by deciphering the data received from beacons and similar sensors that often causes the most trouble. This issue is compounded by the sheer number of proximity data technologies that are currently available, which number in the 350 region, each having their own data structures, APIs and SDKs.
Many companies try to make use of branded apps to get around this problem, as they allow for the gathering of fresh data to strengthen algorithms while also allowing for more focused marketing. However, no app exists that offers a comprehensive solution when it comes to engaging potential customers based on their location as there are so many variables involved in regards to why users may be in particular locations that the task is practically insurmountable.
However, many brands are embracing the challenges of creating platforms that offer better location-based engagement opportunities, often approaching the design process using a modular mindset that allows for platforms to be scaled and customised as needed. Such tech is finding its way into entertainment venues, shopping centres and even healthcare facilities in a number of ways.
Brands are looking to engage potential customers before, during and after the live events that they attend and they are leveraging a number of useful data sources to do so. By combining demographical data, celebrity and proximity data, entertainment brands are able to inform fans of major events that are coming to venues near to them and can offer useful information, such as guides and maps, which can help them to get from their homes to their seats. The most advanced solutions also take things like the locations of concessions stands into account, while others allow for viewing replays of the performances they are watching right on their handheld devices.
This all allows users to stay connected to the brands at all points during live events, ensuring increased engagement and customer retention, which in turn extends the opportunity to monetise such events far beyond the actual the live experience itself.
Shopping Malls and Retail Centres
Branded apps are also becoming a key part of the service experience offered in retail outlets, with many using location-based tech to provide information to customers about the stores they want to shop at and their locations, such as by using GPS to provide exact directions.
Many apps can extend beyond this to provide users with information about special offers and other events at various stores, often by making use of online browsing history to find data about previous -interactions with stores.
This results in the creation of in-context promotions on mobile devices that are often activated as users walk past various stores. Furthermore, brands can also use such technology to survey users on the go to find out more about how they can improve their end products.
Patient satisfaction and providing quality care are two key concerns in the healthcare industry and location-based tech is coming to the fore again in this regard.
Many now offer apps that provide users with hospital layouts, directories and appointment reminders. Such apps can also be used to provide important notices, particularly to regular visitors, and additional information, such as articles on condition management, diet and other useful information.
Such apps can also be used commercially, especially in regards to tracking staff movements and discerning the most efficient ways to create hospital layouts. The location-based tech behind them can also be used to monitor patient movement, which is useful for improving service delivery in waiting rooms and determining how well patients are recovering from surgery.
The Final Word
As location-based tech improves it is likely that we will see more brands and organisations make use of it. While such tech has obvious commercial uses, the most interesting thing that we are likely to see in the future is non-traditional industries, such as education and healthcare, discover ways to use the tech to provide superior services to users.