Location-Based Services are the Next Big Thing for the Mobile Industry
By G+ Author: Grace Barry.
With the accumulation of Waze by Google location-enabled mobile assets has been the talk of the town. But location-based services have been growing in importance long before the Google Waze partnership. There are the obvious location-based services that we hear about everyday such as Foursquare but the reach goes way beyond this. Because almost every smartphone is GPS-enabled, location-data has spread throughout various mobile facits such as advertising, travel, social, weather, shopping etc. Location-based services have been improving both the consumer and business experience. Josh Lugar of The Business Insider lists a few ways the location-data is transforming the mobile ecosystem:
Location-enabled mobile ads: have generated excitement for their effectiveness and the impressive prices they command. The simple fact of a user being physically close to a business, within two miles or so, gives a significant lift to click-through rates on mobile banner ads. Many mobile ad trading platforms are reporting triple-digit increases in location-enabled impressions. However, it turns out some of the underlying location data is unreliable.
Location-based features: have turned out to be great for boosting engagement on apps. Facebook, Google, Yelp, Instagram, Groupon, Twitter and dozens of other popular apps offer location-enabled features. These mobile properties, and many others, have moved beyond the “check-in” concept, which in any case never really caught on with users. They may still offer the ability to “check-in,” but are also trying to be more imaginative with location-based notifications and location-aware services.
Local data based search: can connect hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses to the mobile economy. Google highlights the “local mobile consumer,” in its ad sales material, and touts statistics that show a third of mobile searches have local intent, and that 94% of smartphone users have searched for local information. In a Google survey, 76% of the respondents said they would like businesses’ location or operating hours, and 61% said they would like to be able to “Click to call” the business.
Map data, specifically, like that found in Waze has become especially important for businesses. Mobile maps hold the capabilities to drastically effect the success of various types of companies (Surgo Group). Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research said about location technology “Context is everything — where you are, what other people have said about where you are, how to get there, what’s interesting to do when you get there.” This idea is especially significant to those businesses in a tourist destination. Businesses that rely heavily on travelers or people on-the-go will hope that their name indexes on all available mobile maps. Not only is it possible for people to search such businesses, it is also possible for the businesses to be suggested by the map interface.
In addition, mobile maps have the potential to become vital for various industries because they have the ability and means to collect pools and pools of relevant data; data about where we are, who we are, when we do things, when we go where we go, etc. Vindu Goel of the NYtimes Bits blog says of location data “From Facebook to Foursquare, Twitter to Travelocity, the companies that seek the attention of people on the go rely heavily on location to deliver relevant information, including advertising.”