A new Small Business Mobile Survey from Web.com found that 69% of small businesses say mobile marketing will be crucial to their growth in the next five years, while 64% plan to increase their investment in mobile marketing this year.
Another survey by the Pew Internet Research found that 74% of smartphone owners use their phone to get real-time location-based information, and 18% use a geo-social service to “check in” to certain locations or share their location with friends.
The findings of these surveys reinforce how consumer behavior has changed with mobile commerce: Decisions on some purchases are dependent on location-based results from your smartphone.
A few years ago, I was in Manassas, VA and hungry for pho. Lo and behold, the search results on my smart phone showed a restaurant right across the road from where I was. Google had found it since the restaurant had a website.
Today, mobile technology is much smarter: Last year, on a visit to West Virginia, we were looking for a place to have coffee. Yelp showed us that the nearest Starbucks was 20 miles away, but Jumpin’Java was less than 5 miles away. When we arrived at Jumpin’ Java and checked into Foursquare, I was delighted that using my American Express card at this small business earned me a $10 credit. A win-win all around.
These changes in consumer behavior and technology spell opportunity for app developers, small businesses, and the consumer:
Opportunity for App Developers
- As phones get smarter, evaluate how your app can leverage the power of geo-location
- Foursquare and Yelp provide coupons and specials for restaurants near you; how can you add that service to your app?
- Virtual apps that show user groups nearby, including meetups, provide valuable information to users – and leave them with a positive feeling toward your app
Opportunity for Small Businesses
- Mobile advertising combined with geo-location can help drive walk-in traffic; see my experience with Jumpin’ Java
- Uber uses location-based technology to provide you with transportation when you want it quickly and efficiently; the companies that are in the Uber network are leveraging that technology to more efficiently use their fleet of cars
- The Web.com Small Business mobile survey also says that 84% of the small businesses surveyed saw an increase in new business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts. Mobile advertising with a geo-location component should be part of your marketing mix.
Opportunity for Consumers
- A check-in to a place of business is no longer just a game. Discounts, coupons, specials, peer reviews, and tips on the business are very useful results of check-ins
- Ability to use apps like Foursquare or Yelp to find restaurants and other businesses nearby – and even get directions
- You can even find places that are trending nearby when deciding on where to hang out; very useful for me when I go to out-of-town conferences to find where my friends are
Do you have any success stories using geo-location based advertising or an app? Share your experience below in the comments!