Increase sales using mobile location tracking to proactively connect with consumers

By Elisa Silverman

The number of opportunities for enterprises to use mobile location tracking to influence purchases is on the rise. Three-quarters of adults use their phones’ location-based services to obtain directions or other local information, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center report. BIA/Kelsey research cited by Search Engine Watch found that the number of mobile searches surpassed desktop searches last year.

Mobile Tracking Insights

With search, companies wait for consumers to ask a question. But consumers may or may not find companies that way. In addition to search, companies should take advantage of the insights gleaned from mobile location tracking to push out relevant, timely content. This proactive approach can improve the customer experience and enhance brand loyalty, translating to more sales.

Companies have several options, including:

  • Location-enabled apps downloaded by customers who’ve already shown interest.
  • Wi-Fi networks and beacon technology to track shoppers with mobile devices once they enter a location.
  • Geofencing, which enables companies to push out content to mobile users within a defined range.
  • Geotagged social media posts, to determine who’s nearby and whether they have a history with the company.

The technology is there. Here are some tips to help you understand how to use it:

Pushing Out Discounts and Flash Sales

Pushing out coupons and special event notifications to the right people at the right time is a tried and true technique. Once a consumer enters a geofenced area, a company can send that person a notification. Or, if a consumer is in a store, lingering in a certain aisle, the company can push out a coupon or in-store discount for the products in that aisle. eMarketer reports that mobile coupons are redeemed more often than paper. The number of companies pushing out mobile coupons is growing. Remaining competitive will soon require using mobile location tracking to offer discounts.

Tracking Location to Hook Showroomers

Showroomers — shoppers who browse products at brick-and-mortar stores and then buy them online for a cheaper price — are a thornier crowd to influence.

Immediate discounts may be the tipping point for some, in which case real-time coupons based on where the shopper is located in the store may convince them to purchase immediately.

There are other ways to use mobile to improve the customer experience and motivate a sale. A customer who isn’t a regular at that location may not be aware of the ways he can use his phone in the store, for example. If a mobile device has not interacted with the company’s systems previously, it can send push notifications introducing mobile customer service options. These could include: QR codes to access detailed product specifications, customization options and customer reviews, or self-serve checkout instructions for using the shopper’s mobile device to scan and pay for the product.

What if a shopper is showrooming at a competitor location? They might be checking prices on your website or shopping app. Mobile location tracking can show that the device is in or near a competitor’s store, which is a good opportunity to push out notifications that make your company look like the better deal.

Encouraging Brand Loyalty Beyond Discounts

Brand loyalty programs generally focus on offering discounts and other rewards for purchases. Apps can create brand loyalty, too, in different ways.

For example, Kansas City Steaks offers the “Steak Grilling Timer & Recipes” app, which customers use to calculate the exact grilling time needed for a particular cut of meat and the desired cooking method. The app also provides recipes, grilling tips and other reference materials that strengthen the bond between company and consumer by providing extra value without pushing a sale.

A different version of this app could use mobile location tracking to provide users with recipe shopping lists when they’re at the grocery store.

Proctor & Gamble offers an app under the Charmin toilet paper brand called “SitOrSquat,” which provides users with a map of public bathrooms near them. Users can add bathrooms and give them a “Sit” or “Squat” rating based on cleanliness, along with a review.

These apps are valuable because they offer content relevant to the company brand that is also useful to their customers.

Consumers Want Help When They Want It

Using mobile location tracking correctly is all about being the resource consumers can turn to when they need it. It’s the opportunity for companies to influence people at exactly the point in time when decisions are being made.

Location-based mobile technology expands the number of touch points available between company and consumer. Each additional touch point is an opportunity for companies to improve customers’ experiences and strengthen their brand loyalty.

Written By

Elisa Silverman

Technology Writer

Elisa Silverman is a freelance writer, with a professional background in law and technology. She writes for technology companies and professional service firms. In addition, Elisa writes other types of B2B marketing content that help them establish authority and foster relationships…

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