Part 1: Location-based Services: Needs and market continue to grow

The outlook for location-based services remains extremely positive. Depending on which segments are covered in the various studies, forecasts range up to $40 billion in 2022 – including all potential applications such as fleet efficiency, manufacturing applications, employee safety, robotic navigation, retail, precision farming, lighting and alarm sensors.

What is a good prospect for LBS solution providers is a challenge for many industries. After all, a market is created by needs and demand. And the new studies confirm one trend above all else: people want location-based services. Wherever possible, decision-makers will vote with their feet and go where their needs are met.

The stationary retail trade has to deal with a particularly large number of decision-makers. In this industry, every potential customer must be regarded as a decision-maker who, in addition to making the basic decision of whether to go online or offline, usually also has a wide range of products from various providers at his disposal. Location-based services will become a decision criterion. The Comarch study “The Future of Shopping” provides figures on this. The fact that Italians love their mobile phones is almost a cliché. But they also want to use it for LBS. A whopping 72 percent (!) of all Italians between the ages of 25 and 34 surveyed for the study would like personalized offers based on their personal data. In the entire sample (n=30029 from Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland) the figure is 52 percent in the same age group and still 43 percent across all age groups. 50 percent want personalized real-time offers while shopping in the store. 49 percent of all respondents want to navigate to the desired product in the store.

The best thing about these figures for the retail sector is that the consumer’s wishes are named in such concrete terms. And that these wishes have long since ceased to be witchcraft for solution providers. Indoor navigation, “Find Similar” functions and personalized proximity marketing, for example, have been standard features in the shopping apps of the shopping centers of Hammerson plc – a leading British real estate developer and investment company – for years. In Germany, Karstadt is testing new store concepts at its Experience Store in Düsseldorf, including indoor navigation based on BLE, as well as the Goethe-Galerie in Jena.  Signify – formerly Philips Lighting – introduced its Indoor Positioning System (IPS) in January 2018, which achieves an accuracy of 30 centimeters.

The technology is there. Now it takes foresight and the courage to use it in a targeted and profitable way. In the next part of this series of articles, we will describe what can go wrong and what sales potential lies in correctly used location-based services. Leave a comment and check back regularly.

You may also go here directly to Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 and Part 5 of this article series.