Location, Location… Geolocation

Traditionally, the three most important words for any brick and mortar business have been “location, location, location.” 2010 has revamped this golden rule so that “it’s all about geolocation”.

A recent article by Kim Boatman from Inc. Technology outlines the importance of geolocation in the mobile-sphere. The days of chalkboard incentives outside small-business shops are a thing of the past. These deals can now travel greater distances, and play right into consumers’ hands.

Every consumer wants to save money. The rise of companies like Groupon, which offers flash-mob coupon incentives, uses this principle to introduce bargain-shoppers to new experiences. Groupon businesses greatly benefit from the one-time surge in demand, but do they also gain loyal customers over the longer-term?

Companies like Foursquare and SCVNGR cultivate loyalty through a game-oriented customer experience. These mediums are making innovative advances in geolocation by providing value through entertainment and social connection. Mobile users of these apps “check in” at various locations, earn points toward badges, and keep up with friends’ activities.

Every business wants to distinguish itself from the competition and retain loyal costumers. Restaurant businesses are particularly aware of these challenges. A person can walk down a city block and discover 10 restaurants at similar price points. Geolocation allows restaurants the ability to reach consumers on-the-go with deals that they are actually seeking, incentivizing the consumer’s decision to select them over a competitor. It also enables users to share their new finds with friends, creating a social experience that brings them back for more.

Whether by entering a search query in Google, or by signing into a Facebook account, consumers are constantly bombarded by advertising. These platforms try to offer targeted deals, but something is lost in the shouting match. Geolocation puts the power back into the hands of the consumer, answering the question: “what deals are around me now?”