Leveraging the power of location data to create highly personalized journeys

Many marketers today struggle with the prospect of providing more personalized, contextually relevant experiences to their brand’s consumers. Fortunately, location-based technology serves as a solution to a number of issues associated with this challenge. Location-based services empower brands by providing them with valuable data that helps companies streamline processes, deliver more personalized experiences, gain a greater level of understanding of the customer journey, and optimize their marketing efforts. As a result, marketers and brands of all sizes and backgrounds are benefiting from location-based technology in a myriad of ways.

Improving the order fulfillment process

The buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) trend is helping traditional retailers compete in a landscape dominated by online merchants, and location-based technology is streamlining the process.

BOPIS is immensely popular with consumers as it offers customers the ability to circumvent traditional shipping times in order to satiate their desires for instant gratification. However, the transition hasn’t gone off without a hitch. Many businesses struggle with timely fulfillment and providing their consumers with a seamless in-store pick-up experience.

Leveraging the power of location data has enabled many companies to successfully overcome this challenge. The implementation of location technology such as geofences and beacons helps fuel curbside pickup by providing merchants with real-time data on their customers’ whereabouts and proximity to their location.

In an effort to modernize processes and combat declining sales, McDonald’s became one of the first quick-service restaurants to embrace geofencing. The company renovated several locations and was able to provide its customers with an enhanced experience by alerting employees of mobile orders and pending arrivals to ensure all food was freshly prepared. This process has been largely successful.

Target utilizes geofencing technology by providing its employees with an in-house app on their mobile devices which notifies them when a customer arrives to pick up an order. The employee is then deployed to deliver the items to the consumer, thus diminishing wait times and providing patrons with their personal point of contact in the event they should need further assistance on a matter.

Creating upsell opportunities

BOPIS also provides retailers with a powerful upsell opportunity.

90% of shoppers who do click-and-collect make an extra purchase when they pick up in a store.1

By leveraging location-aware technology, retailers can send their mobile app users a push notification while in-store alerting them that their favorite product is back in stock, send them a limited time coupon offer, or even recommend a product that complements their recent order. The result? More sales for the retailer and more satisfied customers.

Personalizing the in-store experience

Location-based technology is also helping businesses create more personalized, contextually relevant, consumer-first experiences. With the use of beacon technology, companies are able to include trigger events such as store entries as well as track customer movements via their mobile devices. This information not only enhances customer service but also drives decisions about layouts and enables brands to deliver personalized content such as promotions and advertisements to the consumer via in-store signage.

These capabilities can have a profound impact on the effectiveness of proximity marketing efforts. Juniper Research forecasts that almost 1.6 billion coupons will be delivered annually to consumers via beacon technology by 2020. Imagine walking into a store, perusing an aisle, and immediately getting a coupon delivered to your phone for a product you’re near and have been considering?

Macy’s has been implementing beacon technology for the past five years in an effort to drive in-store sales. When their mobile app pinpoints the location of a customer within their store, it follows up with various relevant recommendations for products that the customer has already shown a preference for.

Target also uses this technology to help direct consumers around their stores. Customers can create shopping lists with the company’s app, which then shows them not only where items are located, but also identifies their proximity to the products in real-time. If a customer gets confused, the app shows them when they are getting closer to or farther away from their desired item.

By implementing such technology, brands can harness the power of location to drive true value and personalized experiences for their customers.

Gaining greater insight into the customer journey

Location-based technology provides key metrics that can be leveraged to gain a greater understanding of the customer journey from start to finish. This fuels clienteling efforts by empowering brands with valuable data on consumer behaviors, trends, and activities.

With location technology, brands can analyze pre-shop behaviors, post-shop behaviors, and everything in between. What prompted the customer to engage with your brand? How often do they shop? Which products do they purchase? What are their favorite brands? Where do they go after leaving your store? All of this information and more is recorded and available to use in order to facilitate strategic decision making.

When the MLB was interested in learning more about the customer journey and experience, they made the decision to outfit various stadiums with beacons. Through this, they were able to map in-stadium customer behaviors, such as concessions sales, which areas were frequented most, and which sponsors were the most popular. The result was a boost in ticket sales and the ability to provide an enhanced in-stadium experience.

Gimbal works with a handful of sports teams and venues, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, to elevate the relationship between the team and the fans by creating personalized mobile experiences, and powers location insights for the stadiums based on where fans dwell.

An omni-channel marketing solution

A recent study from Harvard Business Review found that 73% of consumers use several channels while shopping. In light of this information, it’s essential for businesses to provide a seamless experience for the consumer across multiple platforms, devices, and touchpoints.

The implementation of location technology provides brands with the resources, data, and tools needed to achieve this. Gimbal’s suite of location-driven products allows brands to leverage the power of data to execute flawless campaigns and offer rich, unified omni-channel experiences that cater to the modern consumer.

The true value of location-based technology lies in its fluidity and extensive use cases, and the most successful brands know how to leverage this to provide the best experiences.

When the luxury retail chain Barney’s wanted to create a cohesive experience for their consumers, they implemented a location strategy and created an application that was able to communicate with their customers during various stages of their journey. This intuitive mobile app alerts customers when new content is uploaded and provides the company with valuable location data to leverage in their marketing efforts.

This allows the company to send contextually relevant information based on the customer’s proximity to the store as well as their activities online and in their retail locations. Not only does the app provide valuable information such as promotions, sales, and recommendations when the customer is in-store, it also feeds this information based on what items users place in their online shopping carts or wish lists. It further provides them with recommendations based on content that was recently viewed within their app and also helps them navigate their way through their brick-and-mortar locations.

Perhaps the company’s most interesting decision was to provide app users with various dining and sightseeing recommendations that are unrelated to the store based on their location. The result is a truly admirable, seamless, and authentic experience for their shoppers.

Rounding out your strategy

According to recent data from Beaconstac, a whopping 75% of retailers have already begun implementing beacon technology into their marketing strategies, and the results have been astounding – a reported “9% increase in profits and 175% increase in ROI.”

Activating a location-driven mobile strategy offers a myriad of benefits to companies looking to expand and enhance the customer experience. By leveraging valuable location data, brands across all verticals have been able to successfully improve everything from their order fulfillment processes to their marketing, advertising, and decision-making efforts. The result: a win-win scenario for both brands and their consumers.

1RIS. “Shopper Megatrends Study.” 2019.