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Proliferation of Location-based Services (LBS) in the Retail Sector

   October 6, 2022

In recent years, retail industry stakeholders have been leveraging location-based services considerably due to their benefits, such as customer insights, proximity marketing, and enhanced shopping experience. Similar to big brands and multi-store chains, several brick-and-mortar retailers are also implementing location-based services to enhance customers’ in-store experience and boost retail functionality and sales. Retailers are promoting location-based apps to their customers to provide them with relevant information and help them with store navigation, promotional offers, and benefits within the store.

According to the Mobile Economy 2020 report, by the end of 2019, 5.2 billion people subscribed to mobile services, accounting for 67% of the global population. Mobile services continue to significantly contribute to the global economy due to the consistent rise in the use of smartphones. A significant size of consumers is gradually inclining towards the use of location-based solutions for superior shopping experiences, driving the growth of this market.

Consistent technological evolutions in beacons, GPS, Wi-Fi, and near-field communication (NFC) are promoting the role of location-based services in retail industries. Recently, the Bluetooth beacon has been increasingly adopted as it offers continuous signals broadcasting capabilities to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled devices in range. In addition, food retail is leveraging beacon and visual light technologies to obtain product-specific navigation, creating lucrative opportunities for retailers to frame promotional activities such as ‘proximity marketing’ through which customers can receive discounts and special offers through push notifications. Moreover, several companies are focusing on advanced technologies and implementing incentives into location-based campaigns to maximize efficiency and drive user engagement with the emergence of location-based services. For instance, in 2020, Five Guys Enterprises, LLC (U.S.) partnered with Radius Networks Inc. (U.S.) to launch a location-based FlyBuy Pickup curbside solution to maximize efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction. Hence, increasing deployments of GPS-based systems by supermarkets and a surge in the use of services such as indoor navigation, interactive maps, and real-time insights are encouraging more small, medium, and large-scale retail organizations to adopt location-based services.

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