Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Some benefits of location based software

Location based apps such as foursquare, gowalla, loopt and forkly let you find interesting places near to your current whereabouts.  You can find restaurants, cafes and other places of interest simply by using this type of app.  The benefits to vendors at the various places you could visit, whilst in a particular location, are immediately apparent.  Primarily because, with this location based technology, you can quickly locate somewhere to eat, stay or buy that next important must have item.  Importantly that decision to visit is often  based on others users experiences either via reviews or by liking a particular venue.  The vendors get a sale by being found by the app and the customer is happy because the app finds appropriate places to visit within easy reach of their current location.

From a marketing point of view you could see this kind of  location based solution as a win win situation.  However from the vendor's viewpoint the advantages are only  significant if they have a good reputation which can be shared amongst potential users of their facilities.   Again, if the cafe, restaurant is not so hot perhaps such an app is not such good news. 

As well as these apps enabling users to see potential places to visit local to their current location  they can also let friends know that you are in the vicinity.  This enables these friends and like minded personalities to gather together in places of mutual interest.  There have also been some concerns that without sufficient security publicly broadcasting that you are not at home could lead to less desirable individuals taking advantage of this knowledge.  This could result in you finding that you have had an unexpected visitor ransacking your home whilst you enjoyed a pleasant meal with your friends you have invited to meet via a public broadcast.  Setting privacy settings is therefore a wise precaution.

Regularly visiting a particular shop, restaurant or bar could result in you being elected mayor by an establishment.  This could lead to you receiving additional discounts on purchases.  However, vendors are recommended to have additional offers as well as the major facility which is only available to one individual at a time.  Also not everyone is attracted to the idea of being the singled out as one who is so often at a venue that this is acknowledged in this way.

Being able to view local facilities in this way has many other advantages as it is possible to ascertain whether a particular place has been receiving favourable reviews.  Likewise you can also comment on your own experiences so as to guide others to places locally which are worthy of a visit.  This  kind of app links to other social media such as Facebook and Twitter thus increasing  the power of such location based applications.  By liking places and letting your friends know about where you are at any given moment you start to spread the word about places you visit and your likes and dislikes.  This makes such location based apps a powerful marketing tool as when offers are available which are relevant you can receive this information directly through the app, via other forms of  social media, or email.

So such technology enables organisations to gather even more information about their customers' preferences and enables them to quickly communicate special offers and promotions and even tailor them to individual customers tastes and preferences.  The user of the location based app also benefits by being able to easily find relevant places to visit within a given location and to let their friends know the best places to visit.