Top 3 Reasons Retailers Need to Incorporate Location Intelligence into their Business Strategies in 2019
Retailers that want to stay ahead of the curve and boost profits in 2019 need to understand their customers like never before. Specifically, retailers need to know who their customers are, what they want as well as when, where and how to deliver their desired products. The key to better understanding all these critical pieces? Location Intelligence.
In case you missed it, here is a standard definition of Location Intelligence (LI): Location Intelligence is the capability to understand complex relationships between location and contextual data in order to drive better business outcomes. Put another way, LI is key to helping retailers reach customers in ways that will boost business.
Here are the top three reasons retailers need to incorporate Location Intelligence into their business strategies in 2019:
Hyper-personalized and timely advertising
Throughout the customer journey – from discovery to purchasing to loyalty – retailers need to be able to connect with customers in a way that is viewed as valuable by the customer. Industry studies predict that retailers will spend $23.5 billion on digital ads in 2019, up 18.7% over last year. The retail industry in particular will lead digital ad business this year, representing 22% of all U.S. digital ad spending.
Having more granular, accurate and robust location intelligence can offer more than points of interest or geo-fenced marketing offers to drive nearby customers into stores. The latest location-data driven technologies have the power to tell brands if and when consumers are going into a store, what stores they are going into and whether they are converting purchasing intent into actual purchases. These advanced insights can drive more strategic marketing campaigns and improve understanding of attribution.
The value of LI insights for today’s retailers comes from a combination of consumers’ real-time location data and a level of accuracy and contextual data associated with the places those consumers visit. Understanding journeys between where consumers live, where they work, where they play and where they shop (including your competitors) provides a better overall awareness of the most relevant and dominant trends in customers’ behavior and allows retailers to more seamlessly fit into their customers’ lives.
Exceptional pick-up and delivery
Today, convenience and efficiency are everything, and retailers better be sure that their online, home delivery and in-store pick-up experiences deliver an experience that includes both. Research shows that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience and 73% of buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in a purchasing decision. Furthermore, a Walker Study found that by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
A key factor in ensuring smooth deliveries or pick-up experiences is having clear visibility into the supply chain from the manufacturer to the store and everywhere in between. Without the ability to turn location-based data into insights, a retailer will not know when their delivery truck is stuck on a highway, the possibility goods have been damaged, or that a box of goods never left the warehouse. As evidenced by the aforementioned studies, retailers must present accurate information regarding product availability, delivery or pick-up times, otherwise they risk turning potential loyal customers into unhappy ones. The ability to deliver on accurate ETAs starts with location intelligence.
Implementing a multi-channel strategy
Customers no longer tolerate sub-par experiences in ANY distribution channel. We know that online eCommerce, mobile app, and in-store experiences are no longer viewed as three separate avenues to reach customers, but instead are all interconnected to deliver next level service and convenience.
Today’s customer is online all the time and on the move for much of it. Just as delivery channels cannot be siloed, neither can location intelligence. Location Intelligence should be pervasive within a retailer’s operations, and weaved throughout their customer data. Leveraging a single location platform can stitch together multiple channels to help provide a picture of customers no matter where they might be. A location platform not only provides a way to efficiently source a plethora of available location data, but it facilitates turning that data into insights and value added services.
When most people think of location, they think outdoors, but with new indoor location technologies we can connect that outdoor picture to what is happening indoors to inform retailers more about the shopping habits and preferred stores of individual customers. Knowing the physical store is still a critically important part of the Retail business, indoor maps allow Retailers to deliver a unique shopping experience by removing friction and increasing personalization at all touch-points.
Written by Jason Bettinger, Senior Director and head of Consumer Technologies at HERE Technologies, which enables retailers to harness the power of location.