ecommerce, ebusiness, digital strategy, Convergence, IoT, Location based services, Omnichannel, Hyperlocal

The power of Location Based Services for a full stack Omnichannel experience. The new playground for business & digital innovation

January 2, 2018

Article by Roy Halstead, Business Consultant at Osudio.

Taking advantage of wifi to improve operational efficiency and driving customer engagement to new levels.

Mobile first

Let’s face it, it’s a mobile first world. When access to the internet through mobile devices finally surpassed desktop in 2016, the road had finally been paved to build enhanced experiences and services “on the go”. To think that the piece of technology ensconced in our pockets has more computing power than the computers we used to send man on the moon for the first time, is simply mind blowing.

Mobile has been the key enabler for digital disruption models based on its convergence capacity. A string of mean and lean businesses have sprouted from these technological enablers, yet they remain enablers, a means to an end.

Digitisation vs Digital transformation

Redesigning a business model based on new paradigms is the true challenge for any business today. Terms like “Uberization” gives us a context of how important it is to bring digital to the core of our business proposition and not to use it as an ancillary appendix of our got to market strategy.

It is with great ease that companies tend to confuse digitising with digital transformation. Whilst the former tends to translate our traditional business offering and processes into digital form the latter takes into consideration the disruptive forces of converging businesses to reform and re adapt their business proposition in a changing market.

An example of this key difference can be seen in the realm of financial services where banks have transferred the same business model from offline to online (bank accounts, payments, etc) slowly replacing the traditional brick & mortar approach. Digital in the core businesses which took advantage of large gaps in the market, used technology to their advantage and proposed completely new business models such as P2P loans and crowdfunding for businesses (True digital transformation)

In the coming years it will be crucial for established businesses to challenge the status quo and develop true omnichannel approaches rather than working in multichannel silos.

A connected matrix to deliver bespoke experiences

Whilst speaking to the lead digital transformation manager of a renowned global sports brand I realised how much effort had been made to deliver a seamless online experience whilst inadvertently loosing sight of the bridges which connect the real to the digital world. This multichannel approach tends to mire all positive work made up to date.

“We have the tools to asses what is going through our E-com platforms yet have little to no knowledge on what is occurring in retail. To be able to generate data from traditional store fronts, interpret it and make it work with our online tools will be key for us in the coming years.” 

Empowered and well informed customers are redefining what's important to them. There is a greater control over data and service demand has therefore increased as a result. As a consequence, the search for tailored experiences has become central and core to customer needs. Services and products that do not offer an experience risk to find themselves blown out of the market as an increasing number of customers are willing to pay for an experience. In the age of Napster, nobody ever thought that people would be paying for music ever again, a business that provided music on demand years later such as Spotify demystified the assertion.

As Kevin Kelly put in his book “The Inevitable” : Dematerialisation and decentralisation and massive communication all lead to more platforms. Platforms are factories for services; services favour access over ownership.

IoT and Location based services into the omnichannel fray

If we take a close look, IDC estimates that the worldwide count of IoT devices in operational deployments will reach 28.1 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 17.5% between 2016 and 2020(HPE Source). Much of this growth hinges on the ability of firms to transform their IT infrastructure and operations as a part of IoT readiness initiatives.

These stats clearly build the case for businesses to focus on mobile first approaches as the small devices we carry with us are the portals to the parallel world which surrounds us. It is the constant and “on the go” interaction/relationship between the virtual and physical that will need an increased attention in the years to come.

The focus on the experience on the customer side will need to be:

Relevant

Personalised

Valuable

As users walk around a venue, they are deeply connected to the online world, yet nestled in and very much aware of their physical and immediate reality: location. And so the “offline world” is once again trendy and relevant. Advertisers are calling the integration of both online and offline user engagement “Hyperlocal.”

For example, information from Location based services through wifi enables businesses to have network control and answer questions such as who is using my app? What is the average dwell time in store? Which areas in store have seen more density?

Wifi Smart Positioning Technology can provide a precise position within a given location (Source: Ruckus)

Location acts as a connector between the digital world and physical world. As more objects become connected and beam data out whilst dialoguing with our digital identity (Smartphones) a dramatic increase of data with a harrowing question: How to interpret it and turn it into valuable insight?

Hence, the battle to harness the power of LBS is in full swing. It will be however crucial to identify a preferred go to partner that will enable a proper implementation of your omnichannel strategy. You can read more about how to translate your business model to omnichannel here.

Contact us here!

Key words: Convergence, IoT, Location based services, Omnichannel, Hyperlocal

References & Sources:

http://bgr.com/2016/11/02/internet-usage-desktop-vs-mobile/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2016/11/27/roundup-of-internet-of-things-forecasts-and-market-estimates-2016/#3041f129292d

https://www.hpe.com/us/en/resources/solutions/iot-readiness-indicator.html?parentPage=/us/en/solutions/internet-of-things

 


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