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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”.

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Traditionally, the three most important words for any brick and mortar business have been “location, location, location.” This golden rule is now all about geolocation”. Technology is working for in-person stores and shopping local. Businesses keen to get their products delivered to local customers provide seamless online shopping and for perishable foods – same-day delivery.

You may wonder why locals need to shop online and have the goods delivered when they live locally to the store. Well, not everyone can find the time between the usual opening hours to visit the stores. Not all stores open seven days a week, so shopping local online during their lunch break is the solution for locals who travel to their work some distance from their home.

A recent article by Kim Boatman from Inc. Technology outlines the importance of geolocation in the mobile sphere. Gone are 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.

Discounts and Specials

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? Retaining customers is a challenge for all businesses, therefore offering loyalty discounts is one way to keep customers purchasing from you and not your competitors.

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 customers. Restaurant businesses are particularly aware of these challenges. Consumers can walk down a city block and discover 10 restaurants at similar price points. Geolocation allows restaurants to reach consumers on the go with deals they are 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.

Consumers are constantly bombarded by advertising, whether by entering a search query in Google or by signing into a Facebook account. These platforms 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?”

Technology is supporting small stores and enabling them to compete for customers online. However, there is more to success than geolocation or geo-tracking technology to pull in customers. Your business will grow and prosper with the following core KPIs:

  • Online and offline marketing strategies that resonate with your targeted customers
  • Consistently good customer service
  • Availability of products
  • Professional online presence, website, and functioning eCommerce system

Final Thoughts

Today consumers want the best of both worlds of shopping. The convenience of online shopping and also the experience of in-store browsing, taste testing, or trying on attire and then making a spontaneous purchase.

Don’t give up your prime location, and use digital screens and banners to attract foot traffic. Plus, invest in your online presence to capture a wider customer base. Your success may encourage you to find another prime location for another store, and before you know it, your empire of stores is underway. Are y ready for an article on local SEO? Or read this article on how to make the most of social media for business.