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How Businesses Can Make the Most of Location-Based Technology

By business.com editorial staff,
business.com writer
| Updated
Mar 09, 2020
Image Credit: Rawf8 / Getty Images
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See smart and successful ways businesses are using location-based tech.

  • Location-based technology uses the real-time location of your customers from their mobile devices to provide information to your business.
  • You can learn a lot about your customers based on their behavior that you learn from this technology. 
  • Location-based technology can help you improve all aspects of your business from security to time and attendance. 

What is location-based technology?

Location-based services (LBS) use real-time geographic locations from mobile devices to provide information for entertainment or security. These services allow you to check-in at place or events. They use the GPS technology on your phone to track your location. You do have to allow the services to track your location. If you opt out of the service, then you will not have this capability.

The benefits of location-based technology for businesses 

As we point out in our sister publication, Business News Daily, there are many benefits associated with location-based technology for your business. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, location-based technology raises consumer awareness about your store. If you have multiple locations, customers can find the closest store to wherever they are located. Companies can also push ads to consumers that are  within a certain range of the store. 

This type of service can also give customers real-time information about conditions, such as weather and traffic. This allows the customer to plan the best route or potentially time to visit your location.

Businesses can use location-based technology to create a rewards program, coupons, discounts and prizes. When a customer checks in, the business can use that information to send discounts and/or prizes. Retailers can use located-based tech to reward customers who visit or check-in at your store.

Location-based tech can also assist with fraud prevention. Services can, for instance, determine a customer's location through their phone and match that location with the credit card being used for the transaction to determine if the credit card is being used fraudulently or not.

Ways business are using location-based technology

Here are some ways location-based technology is being put to use by businesses.

Time and attendance software

Back in the dark ages, people had to slip a punch card into a machine and stamp it when they were arriving at and leaving work. It's the origin of the term "punch the clock."

Fast-forward to superior methods. One example is Virtual TimeClock, which allows employees to clock in from their computers, using time and location to keep track of when everyone is at work. There are multiple other systems like this to explore. [Interested in time and attendance software? Check out our best picks.]

Mobile marketing

Location is invaluable in mobile marketing. Businesses can hone in on leads and better connect with their customers by using the data from smartphones and tablets. Many companies are turning to Bluetooth low-energy beacons to transmit information to shoppers, offer deals and provide other helpful information. Apple's iBeacon and Google's Eddystone are among the most popular platforms, with the latter accessible on both Android and iOS devices.

While pinging shoppers directly is certainly helpful, there are other ways that mobile marketers can take advantage of such technology. It doesn't require the purchase of beacons; using location provided by a mobile device alone can be valuable, as users may respond to push alerts or advertisements. Location data has quickly become an essential part of any marketing strategy, and it can yield great insights for giving customers what they're looking for.

Security

Location-based technology comes with some security trade-offs. Beacons, for example, can be a tremendous asset for mobile marketers, but devices may often share data with third parties, which has drawn the ire of consumers and been one of the issues behind the push for the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.

However, location-based technology can also enhance security. It enables companies to better authenticate user information and prevent fraud. The key is to examine how location is being used in specific marketing technology applications deployed by your team and what threats you need to mitigate.

Video surveillance

Many businesses have enhanced their security and customer service efforts using video. It's a popular area, as evidenced by Amazon's snap-up of Ring. Businesses will be smart to follow the consumer market here, as video can be deployed with much less cost and more data collection than in the past.

At issue is the value it brings. If it can reduce theft or help your team better assist customers, the investment may be worth it. As with all such technology in this space, balancing the goals of any rollout with the resources for using such data is essential.

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business.com editorial staff
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