Tom Cruise’s mall experience in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report is not an impossible thing anymore. That scene gives us a glimpse of what the right technology can bring to businesses and to the customer’s experience. The high-tech mall in the movie has billboards that automatically present personalized messages to Tom Cruise as he passes. Through the eye scan if Cruise’s eye, the mall’s technology is able to know what to tell you specifically.
This elaborate vision of the near future is very close to the present reality. Various businesses are acquiring large amounts of data, only to provide you with anything you may need and want, anytime, anywhere. Fashion is one of the industry that follow this trend. Fashion involves personalized service, which can only come from engaging with customers. This is possible with today’s location analytics
What is Location Analytics?
Location analytics is a visual means of analyzing and interpreting information from historical and real-time geographic data in businesses. The data produced in businesses contains geographical elements, which help determine the spending habits or behavior of their customers in various locations. Companies use this information to increase their sales and retain their customers. Once they know their customers well enough, they are able to distribute products better. They can even aim their advertisements to more specific consumers.
Location analytics helps the fashion industry in very significant ways:
- This technology helps fashion companies determine which trends appeal to certain kinds of customers in specific locations. With this information, fashion companies are able to deploy the right kinds of boutiques and brands. The effort results in happier customers and more profit.
- Monitoring the entire mall can be taxing, especially if you want to make sure that every customer is served on time. With location analytics, business owners can monitor the wait times of every customer. This makes sure that the customers are served quickly enough.
- Since everyone is connected through the Internet, location analytics can also help attribute online campaigns to offline stores.
- It can also help executives spot the right site layout and design, by determining traffic flaws and hot zones.
The Technologies Involved in Location Analytics
Here are the technologies that make location analytics possible:
- Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE. Also known as, “Bluetooth Smart”, BLE is part of Bluetooth 4.0’s core specifications. It is the lightweight derivative of the original Bluetooth.
- iBeacon. This technology is found in your iOS. It extends the iOS location services. It can activate payments, once the customer leaves the store. It also helps promote sales and complementary items in various sporting or music venues. iBeacon also helps deliver free e-magazines in coffee shops and alert people about weather changes or travel delays. If used in the home, iBeacon can also help remind you about turning lights off and the like.
- Global Positioning System or GPS. This is a navigation system, based on twenty-four satellites, established by the US DOD or Department of Defense. It is free. It functions all day, on a global scale.
- Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a known wireless technology, which uses radio waves in providing high-speed network and internet connections.
- MAC Addresses or Media Access Control Address. This identifies every node of a given network.
Location analytics can help the fashion industry in establishing a tighter bond with their customers. Though there are some privacy issues to deal with, this technology can help improve the overall customer experience. You do not have to wait to get that perfect dress or handbag. Once you enter the store that has location analytics technology, your product will be sitting there, waiting for you.
TASTE THE BEACON SANDWICH
Know your customers, just by determining the places they frequent. This is one of the benefits of location analytics. For fashion brands this high level of technology can enhance your relationship with your customers. Knowing their preferences and purchase history enables you to cater to their preferences. At the same time, your customers have a better experience whenever they go to your retail store. You have to be familiar with the latest technologies, which help location analytics possible. One of them is the Beacon.
What is a Beacon?
Beacons, in general, allow Bluetooth gadgets to receive and transmit data within short ranges of distance. It is comprised of the receiver, represented by the smart phone application, and the broadcaster, represented by the beacon device. The receiver is the detector of beacons. The broadcaster makes known of its presence and identity. Take note that the effectiveness of beacons depends on the distance.
The data broadcasted by beacons allows the app to tell the distance of the phone from the item, to allow it to perform certain actions. This helps a lot when the client enters a retail store. The app can then offer discounts, open doors, turn lights on or off, or even send alerts on certain popular trends.
Various Uses of Beacons
Below are some of the basic uses of beacons:
- Tracking of resources. With the use of beacons, the servers can be told conveniently to dispatch orders. Their PDAs allow them to select a table number, every time they take orders. The beacons make it possible for the mobile app to identify the table being served. The app displays the order and the name of the customer. The beacons allow the restaurant owner, to see which employees spent more time on certain customers and to determine their paths through the restaurant. Once you understand this information, you can improve the efficiency of your employees. The same thing happens in hotels, malls, and hospitals.
- Facilitating learning. Beacons can also be applied on an educational setting. It can help stimulate the minds of the students, through certain games that require them to move about. Technology, geography, logic, context, and automation are only some of the subjects aided by beacons. With beacons, students become more interested in them.
- Making zoo trips fulfilling. There is a zoo app, which helps visitors during their trips to the zoo. Once a guest gets close to zoo attraction, the mobile app starts showing additional information about what the guest is looking at.
- Making sushi smarter. If you go to a modern sushi restaurant that has a conveyor belt, beacons can help provide more information about the sushi coming your way. You can also keep track of your orders and your bill as you take your sushi.
- Adding more fun to shopping. With the help of beacons, you can simply walk into a store and immediately get information about offers. When the customer enters your boutique, you can take note of the time it takes for service to be completed. Beacons also make customer service more personalized.
- Getting things automated. Beacons can also enable the automation of your home or business. Your doors can open or close (even lock or unlock) automatically. Your lights can turn on and off on cue as well.
Location analytics can deliver more to your business. Like any other innovation, beacons are not for everyone. Just be aware of the privacy concerns and you are well on your way to a more convenient, more futuristic daily experience.
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Photo: Backbone Mag