The first commercial satnav was released in 1990 as a revolutionary built-in feature for the Mazda Eunos Cosmo, and yet in 2021 we can order an Uber through a mobile application, see how far away the driver is, get to our destination on the quickest route possible all while sharing our location or eta with friends and family without a second thought.
Location-based services (LBS) have been making our lives easier for over 30 years and for many businesses this hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Today, LBS solutions have been adopted and integrated into almost all business environments. Providing quicker, easier, and more efficient processes that can improve on all operations both internal and external.
As of February 2022, Purple has been announced as a Niche Player within Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Indoor Location Services, which we believe demonstrates the company’s reputation as a recognized vendor for indoor location solutions.
What is location analytics?
Location analytics in layman’s terms can be understood as a visual representation of data collected via the combination of digital devices (mobile phones) and the IoT (Internet of Things). The insights then represent interactions and activity in a geographic or location-specific area.
In this case, however, we’re talking about the use of indoor location analytics.
The purpose of collecting location data is to provide insights into how areas within a location are being used (this could be customers, staff, operational activity, etc) and then combining the depth of insights existing data sets can be utilized to solve business issues and improve business operations by venue.
What makes location analytics work?
Technology, and lots of it.
WiFi, GPS, Cellular, RFID Tags, and Sensors. All of these technologies and more can work alone or in tandem to add new geographical information to businesses existing data pools.
This new data provides valuable insights into the performance of physical spaces and the individuals around them.
The IoT (Internet of Things) is always evolving, producing new technologies that can be used and utilized to fit the business needs of today and in the future.
But despite the rate at which these new technologies are being produced, the creation of location software solutions to match is a difficult and expensive process.
LBS examples for businesses
Proximity (Location-Based) Marketing
Seen primarily in retail environments, proximity marketing allows businesses to target customers that fit certain criteria in order to push offers or personalized promotions that can increase overall spend.
Location Analytics & Venue Optimization
With location analytics businesses can view how their venue(s) and other spaces are being used. By understanding the dwell time and flow of traffic through venues, businesses are able to restructure or repurpose entire areas to increase the time spent in-store by customers.
Occupancy limits are a legal requirement for all venues to ensure the health and safety of all customers, staff, and security present. For arena and stadium venues that provide spectator entertainment, such as sports or concerts, often see the capacity limit being closely met.
The use of sensors allows businesses to continue operations without worrying about the number of people in-store and be warned early enough about occupancy limits being exceeded before it becomes an issue.
Mobile Workforce Management
For large companies that operate in many countries, there’s a necessity to ensure all employees are accounted for, primarily for worker safety and security. An LBS can allow employees to check in and have their locations shared using mobile devices, employee RFID tags.
Digital Displays for Consumers
We already know that businesses can gain a lot from having location-based insights, however, for many people around the world safety is a large differentiating factor.
If a store is too busy or overcrowded then a potential customer may not consider coming back. For venues that have queues and lines for customers to wait in, digital displays provide insight into how long an individual could be waiting. Time is just as, if not more important to the consumer.
So what are the benefits of LBS integration?
Visually Shared Information & Trends
The amount of data collected by LBS systems and IoT technologies is HUGE and will only increase over time. Because of the amount of data collected there are very few people with the ability to spot trends, let alone understand them.
Local geographic information systems allow for this data to be shared visually with all members of an organization leading to better decision making and cost-savings.
Add Context to Real-World Insights
Having the ability to view areas and data collection all in real-time and not only as graphs or charts means that the insights collected are enriched.
The specificity of locations can clearly be seen to affect other data points, for example having sweets at a supermarket checkout increases spend per individual.
This insight can also provide context for answers to questions asking ‘where’. “Where is our next area of opportunity?”
Over time, like all information, LBS data can be aligned and compared to see where and why certain elements change, making it easier to fix issues or implement new ideas.
A better understanding of how visitors move through venues means that the journey from a customer entering to either purchase or churn can be somewhat controlled by the layout and product displays being changed to reflect the current information at hand.
So what’s next?
The location-based services market size was valued at $28.95 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $183.81 billion by 2027 – Allied Marketing Research
Projected growth for the LBS market reflects how businesses during this next decade will be looking to invest in and expand on their insight infrastructure, and by utilizing customer, venue, and placement data, these businesses have the best chance of selling to their customers and additionally their competitors’ customers.
LBS information resources
Take a look at these resources to find out more about Location Based Services and how your business can gain a growing competitive advantage:
- Presence & Location by Purple
- ‘What impact will LBS have on retailers?’ Blog by Retail Insight Network
- What are location-based services? Blog by Ancoris