Think of Uber, Instagram, and even Pokemon Go. All these mobile apps have brought radical changes in transportation, social networking, and gaming sectors respectively. What is the driving force of these apps? It’s location-based services or LBS. As the name suggests, location-based services are associated with the capability to find out the location of the mobile users and provide services based on this location.
Barring privacy concerns, LBS and location-based apps have made our lives easier. These apps can act as a portable guide while we roam through metropolitan jungles or go for an adventurous trip.
Today, we have over 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide and they can be a target audience for various industry sectors including hospitality, education, retail, transportation, entertainment, and healthcare. Besides, various enterprises across these sectors are thriving amid growing competition, and they need customized app solutions to manage critical processes and get the dual benefit of connectivity and customer engagement.
How does LBS Work?
A customized mobile app enables modern enterprises to meet needs related to customer engagement, marketing, and the like. As per the Pow Research Center report, over 90% of smartphone owners use apps to get the location. Companies rely on location-based services on their consumers’ smartphones to send relevant offers and personalized messages.
These days, many enterprises send customized notifications on the basis of factors like user behavior, preferences, geographic location, and purchase history. Talking about the LBS market, it is increasing at a CAGR of 43% with a growth of over $8 billion. Location-based services work wonders with the help of GPS (Global Positioning System) and GIS (Geographical Information System).
LBS is nothing but a two-way communication system between the customer or app user and a service provider. When the user gives all necessary data related to their location, preferences, etc. the location-based services deliver the customized information to the user. Here the GPS plays a crucial role to find the location of the user.
Let’s take an example of Google Street View. This satellite-based service facilitates many companies to find the exact location of their customers.
Image source : www.statista.com
Top Beneficiaries of Location-based Apps
Let’s go through some of the top industry sectors that have leveraged the benefits of location-based apps to grow the customer base and overall business.
Brick-and-mortar retailers can make the most from location-based apps. Leading retail stores like Walmart and Target have successfully used geolocation-tracking apps to enhance their in-store experience. Be it finding the nearby store or selecting a convenient pickup location, the location-based app always remains handy for shoppers or customers. Some of the brick-and-mortar retail stores and supermarkets also integrate Beacons in their apps to offer an indoor navigation feature to their customers.
Many modern retail apps also enable the physical stores to send personalized notifications to the prospective customers as and when they come in the vicinity of the store. These apps also work on LBS.
- On-demand delivery services
The on-demand economy is thriving at a tremendous pace, and the location-based app is in the driver’s seat. Let’s take the example of food delivery apps. These apps enable users to track their orders and get them delivered at their door place. The on-demand courier delivery application is another example of location-based apps. It enables users to track their courier in the real-time. The courier service providers can manage the entire courier delivery process through an app.
Location-based on-demand service apps can help users find service providers or local businesses to get the necessary services conveniently. On-demand home services app, on-demand salon app, etc. are other examples of on-demand delivery services.
GPS technology has made fleet management easy. Public transportation, logistics, and travel companies can keep passengers or customers updated about delays and the real-time status of vehicles. Uber is a great example of on-demand taxi-hailing services, which is powered by LBS. Many geolocation apps can remain useful for the automotive industry.
The vehicle’s location is tracked by such an app, and it enables family members or customers to find the exact location in real-time.
GPS and LBS have revolutionized the travel and tourism industry. From sending real-time notifications to assisting tourists, a location-based travel app can serve many purposes effectively. It is hard to find any hotel booking app without a map view. The reason is simple- no visitor or prospective tourist is interested in the hotel that has no proper whereabouts mentioned in the map. Usually, people are interested in finding hotels close to a specific landmark or sights. Travel apps like Airbnb and chain hotel apps like Marriott offer geolocation facilities for this reason.
The thriving travel industry relies on location-based apps and in the coming years, we will see more travel companies will come up with such apps.
How can we forget Pokemon Go? This all-time popular AR game has used geolocation excessively. Scavify is another example of a gaming app with location-based features. The mobile app development company can integrate technological advancements in AR and VR domains along with LBS to provide a lifelike experience to gamers.
Major Benefits of Location-based Application Services
Location-based apps improve the value of any company in almost every industry sector. Marketers can get a better idea about various groups of customers with the help of location-based services. Here are some of the important use cases of location-based application services across different domains.
- Banking and Finance- Find out the nearest ATM or branch with specific services
- Emergency- Book and track ambulance
- Marketing- Mobile advertising and localization
- Entertainment- Social networking and gaming
- Navigation- To reach the specific location
If customers give permission, location-based apps can offer more personalized and customer-centric services. Some years back, only B2C companies used to avail location-based services through apps. Nowadays, B2B companies have also jumped into location-based app bandwagon to grab innumerable opportunities and remain competitive.
The five-year period between 2019-2023 is critical for the growth of LBS apps. Advancements in emerging technologies like AR, VR, Big Data and analytics will boost the functionality of location-based apps. Companies will make a marketing strategy by using these apps to analyze consumer behavior and market trends.