The growth of smartphones use for Location Based Services creates a business niche where retail investment in technology proves relevant to marketing their products. A majority of mobile phones provide enhanced services such as navigation and maps that determine automatically a person's current location. The use of applications that provide subscribers with real-time location awareness provides retail marketers an opportunity to target customers. The paper aims to demonstrate the use of mobile phones and LBS to create better customer relationships, easy point-of-purchase, and location-based advertising.
Location analytics, by utilizing customer data from sources such as the web, loyalty cards, and EPOS, as well as accurate locations provides an understanding of precise customer wants and services. The method allows for a more accurate decision-making approach on product demand and areas of best investment returns for successful sales boosting. The area of focus falls under the food retail sector.
Canada's mobile phone market size and growth rate
According to statistics, currently, about 25.5 million Canadians or 70% population uses smartphones. Projections dictate an increase in usage by 81.3% of the population in 2020 at a medium growth rate. Moreover, Apple devices stand at 54.9% or 15.9 million smartphones, unlike other regions where Android-powered models make the majority (Mantha 2018). Considering Apple devices acquisition occur among high-spenders or wealthy, while Android serves the cost-conscious and young, Canada demonstrates an increasing trend in smartphone usage.
Across different age gaps, young Canadians prefer using smartphones for everyday tasks such as checking emails and messaging services in social media platforms. Moreover, the use of automated smartphone tasks such as paying bills and getting directions declines with age over security concerns. The usage demonstrates more access to mobile ads for younger persons, therefore, creating a generation of smartphone users and potential marketing opportunities. The usage of mobile phones for bills payments, banking, and finding information online continues to grow over time.
Consumer usage of mobile phones to retailers
According to Samarhan (2016), modern customers share networks, experiences, shop, browse, and connect via various mobile platforms that influence their purchasing behavior. The use of mobile phones creates a new reality for consumers unlike retail businesses relying on product display because majority programs provide product advice and offers, therefore, attracting more shoppers. Moreover, the use of smartphones proves important to retailers through the creation of customer touch points over communication with sales employees who provide insight at times consumers barely get to meet them in person.
Consumer's use of mobile phones drives sales both online and offline. The shopping experiences rely on the search for store hours, applications, location, product review, and paying for goods while in physical stores. The evolution of mobile phone usage for shopping creates an opportunity for retailers to offer online window shopping experiences. Retailers engage mobile phone applications to influence customer expenditure on shopping through platforms. The use of social media keeps skyrocketing and retailers acquire a social platform where product reviews, promotion, complaint solving, and potential customer engagement provides direct links to stores without physically being there. Moreover, through the platforms, retailers use brand advocates and existing customers to influence new and potential persons into making purchases.
Location Based Services (LBS)
LBS denotes software accessible by mobile phones for information, social, and entertainment services that use geographical positioning of the device to engage audiences through control features such as directions, location-specific information, and target recommendations (Distatso and Khan, 2014). The services, for instance, provide a user accurate turn-by-turn route to a destination or serve as a reminder through alerting users to shop for something whenever close to a store. People use geo-social services as a tool for sharing location with friends as well as checking into localities. Majority users of social media sites set up updates and posts with their current location. However, despite many people tagging their social media sites with their current location, privacy concerns arise over the tracking features thereby necessitating trust-relation building.
Location Based Services practical application
Location-based services serve as a bridge between consumers and retailers through internet, real-life interaction, and social media to reach and engage them using location-linked intent to shop or research products or services.
The technology-enabled ecosystem, LBS, creates a platform for retailers to develop public relations through effective engagement at personal levels such as giving rewards, click-through, and fun services involving getting tips or helping others. Moreover, LBS provides a tool for utilizing technology to quantify the effectiveness, power of a brand, and promotions at a large geographical scale through advertising mediums. The main objective being creating product awareness and generating sales, LBS offers insight for consumers on purchasing decisions.
Creative a positive outlook for a brand by connecting with charities to donate social goods develops engagement with donors over mediums such as text messaging that helps them track donation impacts. The crucial concept involves the creation of consumer engagement through real-time communication that creates geo-relationships in aspects such as mobile, social, and in-store concepts. Building a personalized relationship proves critical to making a stakeholder relation thereby encouraging communication creates spurs on relevant messaging and offers relating to demographics, purchasing habits, and preferences for growth in retail business.
Purchase decision making
In-store shopping too requires the incorporation of smartphones. Depending on shopping locations, consumers apply various apps for purposes such as reading reviews, scanning quick response codes, and comparing prices. Besides smartphones use in making online sales, in-store sales grow via offers consumers get through their phones such as coupons.
LBS and Customer Relations
The link between LBS and Relationship Marketing
According to McLaren et al (2015), 74% of smartphone possessors acquire directions based on current locations, 30% tag social media posts, and 12 geological services using their locations. The location information allows for recommendations and suggestions of activities nearby to the user and their friends. The information builds a relationship through suggestions serving as reminders to customers such as describing a new restaurant with a special dish on the menu and hence attracting new consumers whose probability of visiting the restaurant or outlet whenever in town grows exponentially. Customers need a location-specific and current-time data therefore convenient LBS proves reliable. Considering many adults frequently visit social media sites over their smartphones, sites that automatically update user's location provide a platform for social networking where customers acquire material on reviews and preferences of friends thus opening an opportunity of conversing over the outlets that result in attracting potential clients.
LBS utilizes people's real-time location data, therefore, retail businesses acquire a platform for advertising their products. Considering the input of geo-social services on sharing a user's location with friends, the product described reaches potential targets over a wide scope (McLaren et al, 2015). Skeptical people acquire a platform where any questions on a retail service get answers via trusted friends and the opportunity to review and recommend a retail business occurs. The new approach proves important for retail enterprises in that most people own smartphones and access a wide avenue of social services where product promotion and customer relation building occur. Considering actual-location services, various retail enterprises acquire a platform of self-advertisement considering a user's location and data, therefore, creating an opportunity for the business services provider. Moreover, despite differences among ethnicities, geological locations, and applications, the use of smartphones among adults proves large therefore regardless of various considerations, reaching the target audience proves easy.
LBS and customer relationship development
Location-Based services offer a platform for engaging clients easily and effectively within geographical environs. Besides, the method opens up new target locations for brands where the target audience's likelihood of seeking services offered occur (Zhang and Wijesinghe, 2015). The service provider and consumer experience develops customer relationships via several means such as;
Data accuracy influences a consumer's perception of a company. Committing personal information to an app requires engaging with trusted software companies and trustworthy strategies such as the provision of sufficient product description.
Customer information and privacy
LBS creates an opportunity to know existing customers better through user reviews. The comments depict their thinking on a businesses' products or services as well as preferences. Moreover, the reviews offer insights on value delivery and means of boosting overall customer experiences through engaging and providing necessary information. Besides, protection of customer privacy through avenues such as ensuring secure e-banking servers and anti-virus use proves essential.
Keeping an existing customer proves crucial for businesses. Through using check-ins, rewarding loyal customers identified with recognition, discounts, and preferences create a better relationship.
Attracting new customers
Social media and mobile device developments allow for easy lu...
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