Posted by Mike Schneider
Skyhook + beacons = a full-stack location solution. This next wave of innovation will create opportunities for retail applications to enhance value to their users, create more channels for monetization and to gather a more comprehensive spectrum of insight on on their users. Incorporating a full-stack location solution reduces friction in app user experience and compounds additional monetization can give a full view of the customer journey.
To break these down...
What we mean by “insight into the full customer journey” is that retail apps can gain insight and interact with users at any stage of their involvement with partner brands - from outside the partner store, to the product on the shelf. There are a few ways to approach this:
Appticipation. You can deliver a frictionless user experience by surfacing relevant app features and content automatically as users transition from outside the store to inside the store. We call this “appticipation”, where your app can anticipate user needs and enable features based on contextual data.
Compound monetization. Accurate and precise location data enables you to interact with users at every stage of their involvement. The multiple levels of user interaction that you can offer brands and partner stores provides additional revenue channels.
Unprecedented access to retail brands at a very precise level gives you the opportunity to compound your monetization through the ability to make your targeting more precise and valuable. What if you could approach partners with store-focused coupons or content, or show brands that they can reach customers with premium proximity advertising?
In order to do all of this, you need a full-stack location solution that is grounded in good location. At Skyhook, we think of good location as a function of three things:
The accuracy and precision of the latitude and longitude.
The usefulness of location. Putting useful contextual power tools like venues and Personas on top of a data point makes it possible to provide better experiences and targeting.
The ownership of data. Your data should be your data alone.
So what does full-stack location look like? Most brands in retail don’t have a solution for reaching mobile consumers throughout the entire customer journey.
But with a full picture of your users’ behavior and the ability to interact with them at every step of their journey, you can introduce your app content with partner brands at a point where users can take immediate action by influencing users at both a macro and micro level.
At a macro level, you can see users’ devices moving through any location, and capture this information to build offline behavioral intelligence. We call this story of device behavior a Persona, and Skyhook’s Personas are based on the most accurate and precise location available today. These “living” behavior profiles are algorithmically constructed and constantly updated, allowing brands to identify their audience and target their messaging with ease.
With geofencing and behavioral insights that are rooted in ground-truth location data, you have the opportunity to surface products that the end user will like.
By geofencing brand locations, retail apps can offer brands the ability to engage users with relevant content and experiences across any venue location. You still have the opportunity to deliver relevant content to a user when they are outside of your partner’s store. You can learn what they like and serve them relevant content or ads based on this intelligence. You can still get money from the brands here. And you can geoconquest non-partner locations by serving users an impression to encourage them to go to a partner location instead of the store they are in.
Because you already know your Personas, and you know what the most popular items are for those personas, you can complete the customer view. You become a new customer intelligence platform for brands because you know the intent of the users, and can then tell your partner brands what they should be advertising: more on this in a bit.
By geofencing brand locations, retail apps can offer brands the ability to engage users with relevant content and experiences across any venue location. You still have the opportunity to deliver relevant content to a user when they are outside of your partner’s store. You can learn what they like and serve them relevant content or ads based on this intelligence. You can get money from the brands here. And you can geoconquest non-partner locations by serving users an impression to encourage them to go to a partner location instead of the store they are in.
With the click of a mouse, you can deploy infinite geofences around any venue, brand chain or venue category. Each time your users trigger a geofence you create, your app can deliver messages, load relevant content, or adapt your UX to the user’s physical surroundings.
The Power of Client-Side. Rather than constantly pinging your users' device for location and checking it against a server-side venue set, our geofences run client-side. We toggle active geofences on and off for optimal responsiveness, so you can trigger relevant content and experiences the exact moment your users cross a geofence.
Universal Venue Taxonomies. Geofence any venues selected from our 2,000+ venue categories and brand chains worldwide. Our venue database maps to taxonomies you and your advertising partners already use: IAB and Google AdWords.
Fully flexible Payloads. Our geofences trigger custom payloads you can assign to any function in your app or device. Add additional logic around geofences or schedule local notifications and messages based on this completely open plain-text field.
By matching up Personas, content and products, apps can be the new resource for users: like the grocery store circular, for example. Position your cooking, grocery, or other shopping app to capture part of the $5.84 billion spent on circulars each year (WSJ). How? You can serve users content when they are in one of your partner stores and give them relevant content or a coupon based on their persona or activity - like product favorites, or adding to an in-app list.
Because you already know your Personas, and you know what the most popular content is for those personas and the products they are interested in, you have the opportunity to tell your partner brands what they should be advertising, as we mentioned earlier. You become a new customer intelligence platform for brands, their resource, because you know the intent of users.
In addition to this, Persona insights can also help you to tailor your app with the product you know that each user likes.
Once you’ve generated the big picture around your users’ behaviors and you know who is walking into your partner store, you can now tailor the ads and experiences based on Persona frequency.
As users trigger a geofence you are now aware that they are in the store, use this opportunity to prompt the user to turn on bluetooth for an enhanced, personalized experience inside the store that has beacons enabled. An example message might say, “You are in a partner store - turn on bluetooth to get the most valuable experience and relevant coupons while inside!”
Once the user comes to a partner venue and triggers a geofence, design your app for place to deliver “in-partner-store mode”. Oftentimes users interact with your app in different ways when they are home versus inside the store. Tailor the app experience to these different scenarios with in-app modes. With beacon technology the app can also toggle between “Shopping Mode”, which can populate a user's shopping list and the products they need, and “Payment Mode”, for when the user approaches the register and is ready to check out. In this mode the payment screen can surface on the home screen. This reduces the friction and time to value for your users.
Using personas, your app will have more opportunity to effect the shopping list because you know what they are searching for. You can guide them through the store and give them specific
experiences based on what similar personas like and what coupons are available in the store.
You can give the user incentive to go to a product and you can give them an experience once they are at the product. For example, when the user gets near the dress clothing aisle you can surface them a coupon with that product that you know they will like.
With beacons, you can build an even deeper level of intelligence on your users, to know which Personas go where and what products they visit and buy. This intelligence allows you to deliver them the most relevant coupons/ads possible.
With Personas and micro level insights you can create a new model of attribution. You can align which Personas perform the best against which brands and can attribute conversions to coupons redeemed via in-store beacons or through your app. Now you can use content to influence behavior and attribute it to specific Personas.
Paired with a full stack location partner, beacons can give retail applications a view of the full user behavior journey at both a macro and micro level. This approach reduces friction in the user experience and compounds opportunities for monetization.