June 28 2016

6 Must-have Location-Based Features for Retail Apps

As a savvy retail business owner, you are already aware that your company needs to offer consumers online access to your store. If consumers can’t find the information they’re looking for about you online, they’re likely going to jump to one of your competitors, after all.

While maintaining a website and cross-promoting it with social media is a good first start, a major aspect of your marketing and branding efforts will need to involve using a mobile app, since so many potential customers will be using their smartphone when looking for items to buy and figuring out which retailer to use.

A branded retail app for your company helps customers buy more of your products as well as serve as a form of marketing. The app’s icon on customers’ smartphone screens keeps you top of mind when it comes time for them to make a purchase.

Geo-fencing: Catch them Coming and Going

When you enable geo-fencing, it sets an invisible perimeter or geo-fence around your establishment whose dimensions you can control. Geo-fencing lets your app automatically detect when a customer is just entering the store. At this point, you can let them know about a sale or offer them a coupon as you welcome them in with a message.

If the customer doesn’t buy anything, you can set up an In-app notification to be delivered to him or her right after leaving the store with a special offer. If the customer did make a purchase, you can use geo-fencing to send a thank-you message that encourages them to tell a friend to visit the store in exchange for another discount.

Beacons for In-Store Tracking

Positioning beacons inside the store enables you to keep detailed track of customer positions as they move around. You can send a message based on what aisle a customer is standing in, such as to announce a two-for-one sale during the next 60 minutes.

Product mapping in conjunction with an online database of your inventory lets your app serve even more precise information, letting customers perform a quick lookup inquiry to find out which aisle to go to.

Location History to Target Customers at Particular Stores

When your app collects the location history of customers at your various stores, you will amass a treasure trove of information for your customer relationship management database.

Now, the next time you hold a company-wide event at multiple locations, you can use the location history data to determine which store to recommend a customer to visit, based on the branch he or she tends to visit (maybe a store near to work during the day or a store near home on the weekends, for example).

Click for Concierge or Sales Assistance

You don’t need to mount “customer service” buttons in various locations in your store to help shoppers get the help they need.

Let them click a button in your app to summon a staff member for concierge or sales assistance from wherever they happen to be inside the store.

In-Store Pickup

Sometimes referred to as “click and collect,” this option lets a customer make a purchase while on the go via the smartphone and then receive confirmation that it’s ready to pick up at their preferred store location.

Give your customers this added convenience to help boost their loyalty to your store.

Mobile Checkout to Pay On-the-Go

Finally, it’s smart to include a mobile checkout option. This lets a sales associate conduct the transaction right on the spot, in the middle of the store whenever the customer is ready to buy. Customers will appreciate not having to wait in line and this can encourage them to patronize you more often.

Benefits of Adding Location-Based Features to Your Retail App

  • Encourage customer interaction whenever they are near your store
  • Offer targeted coupons based on customer proximity to different items
  • Easier access to customer service while inside the store
  • Rack up sales faster with mobile checkout

Retailers that make a point of staying on top of marketing best practices recognize that just having an app for their store is not enough to give customers an ideal shopping experience. Including location-based features makes a retail app more powerful and will tend to drive more business your way.


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