You are walking in the mall doing the window-shopping, you pass in front of an electronics store, and suddenly you get a discounted offer to buy a TV you dreamed for….you are amazed. You go in see the TV and buy it at a very discounted price.
How does this happen? The digital technology behind this is called geofencing.
Geofencing is a use of global positioning system (GPS), WiFi, Bluetooth beacons to create virtual boundaries around a location.
It is a location-based service where your location is tracked by the app or WiFi on your mobile. Geofences can be used to target customers in physical locations, allowing you to trigger the right message, the right campaign, at the right time and place.
Geofences can be put into big stores, airports, major events/concerts, tourist places.
Today with digital transformation at its peak and wide adoption of smartphones, geofencing is common for businesses via several ways:
· Location-based marketing can deliver in-store promotions to specific customers based on customer analytics they have carried out such as restaurants sending text messages of daily specials to customers who are walking by, Attract new customers by sending them exciting offers they can not refuse
· In Smart homes - security alerts when someone enters the area
· Employee tracking – in hazardous areas like mining it can be used to track if workers are in the safe zone or getting into danger zone
· At big gatherings like concerts geofencing can be used to engage audience by sending them guidance or information about the event
· Exit surveys for the customers leaving your store and asking for feedback
· Build solid profiles of customers based on their entry /exits, where they spend more time and use that further for marketing right offers
How does geofencing differ from beacons?
Beacons need to have customer’s Bluetooth on for targeting whereas geofencing uses location data from the smartphone. Beacons work well indoors within a small distance of 10-15 feet while geofencing can cover 100 meters.
By sending your customers a time-specific, location-specific push notification with a special offer, geofencing allows you to increase overall sales.
There will be multiple further developments in geofencing, which will help businesses to use the digital technologies to their advantage.