Selling based on mobile location – shaping the future of shopping
We know that many people are purchasing on the go today via apps and responsive websites on mobile devices. They are even often prompted to make a purchases based on products they’ve seen on social media whether that be something spotted on a celebrity or via a targeted advert. We also know that in order for many of the popular applications to work, geographical settings must be enabled, most notably Snapchat and Google Maps. Although this is a frightening prospect for many, for most it is a small sacrifice to pay for the ease and entertainment that comes with using these apps freely. This understandably excites advertisers and marketeers greatly. The idea that the mass market is so willing and eager to hand over personal data so freely can provide endless opportunities if analysed and used correctly.
There are many ways in which retailers are using mobile geographical orientated marketing schemes, the original push notifications sent to shoppers in-store in the hope of converting the customer when they would have otherwise walked away, was just the start of using mobile location to their advantage. Apple took this one step further and created the innovative iBeacon which works with location services to determine a customers precise location whether they are in your store or not. The ibeacon alerts apps when they are even approaching or leaving a location and if they are close to a retail outlet, the retail apps can use this data send a notification to pull shoppers back to the store to make a purchase. Even pulling them away from competitors!! This combined with clever behavioural and search algorithms, retail advertisers are able to pinpoint a precise intentional buyer based on where they are and what they’ve been searching for online. E.g. a girl from Leeds who has been searching for Hunter wellies. A stockist of Hunter in Leeds would find it beneficial to use this location targeting approach to reach this person.
There is also the possibility retarget shoppers that have recently visited a store by sending email campaigns and setting up social ads based on where they currently are. Mobile location essentially plays a pivotal role in the adoption of the new wave of omni-channel marketing strategy. Digital and offline marketing can no longer be considered as separate entities. The opportunities that mobile data can now provide means that the lines between one and other are now invisible, digital can fuel in-store sales but only if the data is collected and analysed and retailers take full advantage of the technological advances and innovations around them.
Lastly, it is worth noting that geographical location and other behavioural data is about to become even more available to advertisers as a result of a new data sharing agreement between WhatsApp and their parent company Facebook. The potential for what we can do with this consumer data will be astronomical and we can’t wait to see what it does for our fashion and retail clients.