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.
Often I am asked what is the compelling use case or ROI to justify the investment? There is no single silver bullet answer to this question.Simply, the trends I see with leading retailers who are pushing the innovation boundaries with location based services is a series of multiple use cases or multiple sources of ROI driven from a combination of improved operational efficiencies, better customer service, and increased revenues per customer. All of the factors are crossing multiple functions within the business from sales to operations to marketing to planning.
Depending on the retailer and their level of sophistication and/or type of consumers they are placing a greater emphasis on, one or more of these are ROI drivers – however there is no single one size fits all ROI model. The clear drive is for a zero sum investment and utilizing multiple drivers and use cases across sales, marketing and operations functions to deliver the ROI.