Why location based services will make us happier shoppers

Location based happy shopping

Why location based services will make us happier shoppers

Who doesn’t like shopping? Well, for those who aren’t so keen, Location Based Services should help to make it a better experience. New WiFi based technologies allow shops to utilise geo-fencing, drawing invisible lines around our favourite sales areas or locations and allowing a store to realise when we are there. This enables the store to gauge what purchases we might be considering. We can be sent information or offers in real time (by email or SMS) to our mobile phone, so we could bag ourselves a really good offer that very day! It is sometimes more exciting to a consumer to get an offer there and then, relevant to the actual shopping experience they are having at that very moment.

The benefits of location based tracking

There are clear benefits of location based tracking. It has been used to find lost hillwalkers, track people who have done wrong, to wayfind or assist in healthcare practices.

The highs and lows of location based tracking are discussed in this brilliant article; a guest post by Martijn Verbree. He talks about how using micro-location services to interact with consumers clearly increases customer experience, as well as increasing a venue’s data and analytics. This could include a mortgage manager picking us out of a branch queue when we walk in, a supermarket click and collect service, auto hotel check-ins as soon as we arrive through the lobby, or even a freebie if we have stood in a queue for far too long.

The value exchange

Each time we walk into a store carrying a mobile device, we give information away about ourselves including how we move around and where we physically spend time. If we log into the WiFi what the store learns is even richer. Most of us do care about privacy, but are happy to share data if we get something in return – e.g. free WiFi and relevant information. Martijn suggests that businesses should always keep the consumer in mind.

‘I’d be happy to trade some of my privacy, but I want to have the choice what is shared and I need to see a clear value’.

Martijn concludes:

“Dear businesses,

I’ll give you my information if you can enhance my end-to-end customer experience, including
when I:

  • Turn into the parking lot, route me to a free space close to the exit, just how I like it
  • Walk through the store, provide me with a discount on something I want rather than an offer on something I do not need
  • Am in front of the deli counter in a long queue, send some more staff to me to help
  • Need some help making a choice between French or English mustard, come and find me to offer advice
  • Need to pay, allow me to skip the (self) checkout queue and settle via my phone
  • Want to leave, guide me to the barista that is making my (complimentary) flat white whilst the store staff are delivering my goods to my car near the exit.”

Sounds good doesn’t it? What do you think?

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