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Location Based Analytics and Services – Retail – What are the practical uses?

Nobody can question that location-based services are hot these days--especially in the retail space.

Retail in general is under increasing competition and pressure to maintain its revenues and profitability, especially physical retailers who are threatened by online businesses, ranging from one person outfits to global giants.

Physical retailers big and small are all facing the same phenomenon: smartphone users walking around their stores (inside and out). Google and Nielson recently reported that shopping queries are two times as likely to be in store. So people are actively on their smartphones in stores. The significance of this statistic to retail is that there is a huge opportunity here to optimize dollars, be it marketing funds or operational savings–all of which can be enabled by location-based services.

iStock retail

Cisco’s location based services using the Mobility Services Engine and the Connected Mobile Experiences solutions is market leading and generates a lot of interest among customers and I get the privilege of speaking with many retail business executives on a global basis.

In retail, the two big rocks are revenue and loyalty.  The Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution helps line of business leaders reach those goals by aligning with the mobility trend. Armed with the location-based services of CMX, you can captivate your customers by creating personalized, context-based engagement to boost loyalty, while generating location analytics data on customer movement patterns and behavior for optimizing operational costs. Read More »

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Retail & Location Services – hype or happening – what is the value

Location Services has been a holy grail in many industries for almost 5 years now and none more so that in the retail industry. In recent discussions with Chief Executive Officers in leading retailers especially those from a marketing or operations persecutive some interesting comments and trends are emerging.

 

Firstly about a year ago retailers were looking at LBS and saying we must have this, were unsure how to use it to effectively drive their business.

Today in April & May 2013 these executives are equally as excited about the possibilities location services brings to their business, however they are also putting an even greater focus on the ROI. When vying for capex resources a compelling business case is one that has a clear return on the investments needed. When considering a guest WiFi deployment and associated location based services the business cases emerging are varied especially  when speaking with some global retailers. Read More »

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Leveling the Playing Field

What’s a poor brick-and-mortar retailer supposed to do? The competitive landscape seems to be permanently titled toward online retailers. Virtual sellers seem to enjoy facility and inventory advantages unavailable to their physical kin. They even get favorable tax policies from states that want to encourage internet growth.

Even with these asymmetric advantages, it’s the real-time insights available to online enterprises that provide a real game changer. By better understanding customer what a customer is viewing and their past history, a virtual store can provide guided advice specifically tailored to the individual shopper. Talk about targeted marketing.

Sure, the physical enterprise has strengths the online world doesn’t. Like first-person customer service and products that customers can touch, feel, and try on. But that real-time insight the retailers use so well? Out of reach.

Until now. With our acquisition of ThinkSmart, Cisco can help level the playing field.

Read More »

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