Location Marketing is the Flux Capacitor of Mobile Retailing

After discussing the changing dynamics of marketing in a mobile world and the ever-evolving retail landscape via technologies like visual search and mobile payments, today we finish our three-part series by examining why location-based search marketing is a critical component of success for every retailer.

Putting it simply, location-based marketing (or local search marketing) is to mobile what the flux capacitor in Back to the Future was to time travel: it makes mobile omnichannel retailing possible.

Traditionally, legacy bricks-and-mortar retailers never had to think about the convergence of pre-purchase and purchase marketing activities. The consumer journey had always been linear. See an advertisement, decide where to go, and the product the consumer wanted was either on the shelf when he or she got there, or it wasn’t.

Now, technology has made the consumer smarter and raised his or her level of expectations. When something in the world triggers a consumer’s desire to consume—the smell of a cup of coffee, the glance at a pair of shoes, etc. consumers whip out their mobile phones and expect their phones to be their shopping advisor, guide, and roadmap to the point of purchase, all at the same time.

If your search marketing data is not accurate, if your store location and hours are incorrect, if you don’t make a compelling brand case exactly where they are looking, consumers may decide not to engage. Worse, they may be distracted by an online retailer and settle for an online purchase when they really wanted to buy at a local store and get it now! 

Retailers who think of their online listings as a glorified yellow pages directory not only miss converting their customers at the point of inspiration—they also run the risk of unwittingly pushing their best customers to a different retailer or to a more expensive means of product fulfillment. This situation is not good for anyone. Not for customers and especially not for you.

Consolidating listings and building an engaging brand with location marketing solutions like Uberall is critical. Location marketing platforms are the gills that allow retailers to swim, breathe, and thrive in the next generation of always on, omnichannel retailing.

Just look at the data:

  • 89%  of all consumers search online for local businesses
  • 93% of people who search with a mobile device go on to make a purchase within 30 days
  • 83% of people who search with a mobile device want to buy within the same day
  • 50% of local searches actually result in a store visit within the same day!

Retailers that grasp these ideas and that treat their mobile search marketing efforts like a constantly intertwined awareness and point-of-purchase platform will likely draw more customers to their stores and engender more loyalty over time.

Retailers that do not give the statistics above the attention they deserve and that fail to invest in their location-based search marketing programs may as well pack up and go home because it will be like taking a knife to a gunfight. They won’t stand a chance.

Mobile is not the front door or the start of the customer journey. It is the journey. It is the platform for a new retail that requires any and all information and data to be 100% available and accurate at all times.

Think I am joking or prone to hyperbole? Check out this one last statistic: 

  • One in three smartphone users have purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended because of new information they received when they searched for the product

Translation: The opportunity cost of missing out on a captive and engaged audience because of bad data at the point of search is too high.

Failing to invest in mobile and location-based marketing is like saying to friends, “We’re having a party, but it is up to you to find out where the party is and how to get there.”

Check out the other parts of this series:

Guest Blog by: Christ Walton

Chris Walton is a leading expert and influencer in omnichannel retailing. An accomplished Executive, with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries, Chris has high-level executive experience across nearly every discipline within retail. Currently he is the CEO and Founder of Red Archer Retail and Omni Talk, one of the fastest growing blogs in retail. When he is not writing for Omni Talk or contributing regularly to Retail Dive and the Robin Report, Chris also sits as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for GSVlabs and on the Advisory Board for Delivery Solutions, a leader in last-mile delivery technology. Prior to starting Red Archer Retail and Omni Talk, Chris worked for Target, where he was the Vice President of the retailer’s Store of the Future project and also the Vice President of Merchandising for Home Furnishings on Target.com. Chris began his career at Gap, Inc. and holds a BA in Economics and History from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Chris can be reached at info@redarcherretail.com or follow his blog at www.omnitalk.blog