Way back when, explorers sailed the world with the stars as their guide. Knowing where you were in the world (and avoiding sailing off the edge of it) depended on a keen navigational grasp on the lights in the night sky. People can still travel by the stars today if they like, but most people opt for Google Maps instead.
Geolocation has changed everything for consumers. It has made them independent navigators, it fulfils their desire for instant gratification by aiding them swiftly on their journey, and it gives them convenience. You can now track how far away your friend’s Uber is, where in the world a loved one’s flight is, or find the exact groceries you’re looking for without waiting for a store assistant to make eye contact.
This technology also has clear advantages for retailers.
Leading brands are leveraging the technology to push customers into varied channels. Cosmetics chain Sephora has used iBeacons to send makeup tutorials to in-store customers as they walk past particular products (City Am, November 2015). US grocer Walmart is using geolocation to serve customers relevant local messaging once in store and guide them to the products they are looking for (PCMag UK, March 2016).
There is also huge potential for granular, real-time feedback as a result of sophisticated geolocation. Understanding what store your customer was in, which assistants they interacted with, and whether they made a purchase or not is a rich granular opportunity that can be used to drive forward and evolve the first-class experiences customers are seeking today (Harvard Business Review, November 2015).
A key part of today’s first class bespoke customer experience is knowledge of where your customers are. It is about going beyond what country, region, and city they are in, and drilling down to their actual location to really drive the experience forwards. The benchmark for a first-class experience is evolving all the time, and the use of geolocation has to change and advance with it. Tweaking the experience based on the weather, or events happening at the user’s location, are just a few of the innovations being used by leaders to exceed their customer’s expectations.
Geolocation is now a fundamental part of a first-class customer experience and that will not change. Instead, what is changing and advancing all the time, is the customer expectation of how retailers will use geolocation to improve the customer experience that they offer. Knowing a customer lives in the UK isn’t impressive anymore, but knowing they’re in West London, are a keen runner and are looking for a new pair of Nikes for the marathon is. Customers expect sophisticated experiences and they are always hungry for more. The brands that use geolocation to power first-class experiences won’t just meet those expectations, they’ll be exceeding them.
You can find out more about the importance of geolocation in the creation of a superior customer experience in Qubit’s latest report, available to download here.