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Using Location in Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards haven’t fundamentally changed the way they do business for many years. There are the fans and the people who actively look for deals, but most of the people we have spoken to recently have said that the time they realise there is an opportunity is when they are at the checkout and the cashier asks if they have their Fly Buys or whatever card. This obviously is not generating increased sales or revenue.

There are huge opportunities for loyalty cards to exploit location with the large number of people now using Smartphones fitted with GPS. Effectively a Smartphone application can therefore identify when a card holder is near a store or participating retailer and can potentially be offered a deal using push technology. We are hugely spoiled for choice these days as retailers flock near each other to try to win your business. For example, if you go to AA Maps and do a search for ‘Hardware Albany’ you will come up with 48 results! That’s a huge range of options in one area within around a 5km radius.

Albany Homes Owner Occupied 70% or Over

A large number of these retailers spend a lot of money on advertising in newspapers, magazines, letter box drops, eDm’s and much more. Many of them are involved in loyalty card programs which provide additional opportunities for targeted marketing. These are all very expensive media and the approach uses often sophisticated targetting using demographics tools, such as GeoSmart’s BIonaMap discussed in a number of our blogs such as this one using demographics for a lawn mowing franchise. By understanding what your target market is, you can identify the best place to locate your store and which areas are best for letter box marketing. Of course success requires that your target market is open to buy and looking for your product.

If a consumer is looking for a lawn mower and your mailer arrives in their letter box, there is the potential that they will visit your store, but how often do they buy lawn mowers and how often do they read your mail drop? The example illustrated here shows homes where the owner occupancy is 70% or greater, a perfect target for DIY sales using BIonaMAP from GeoSmart.

In coming blogs I will post examples of how a loyalty card smartphone application using GPS location could integrate with retail Point of Sale systems, inventory management and really understand what a customer is looking for, sending meaningful offers to consumers when they are looking for product and are in proximity. If you make things easy for customers and have a meaningful relationship with you, they will buy your products over your competitors products, but to effectively do that, you (your technology systems) really do need to understand who your customers are and what their needs and interests are. They want to give you their money and it isn’t necessarily about special pricing.

Where should you start? Probably by asking what your loyalty card company is doing about proximity based marketing and check ins (which we have discussed frequently on this blog). GeoSmart is keen to support local loyalty card companies and application developers and we are convinced that there are huge opportunities to really bring in serious retail profits and the opportunity to develop genuine loyalty relationships. Who wants an unfair advantage? If that’s you, why not contact us?

Feel free to ask questions here or to leave a comment. Bookmark this page for upcoming blogs on how a loyalty card company can use this technology to help their partners win more business.

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September 19, 2011 Posted by | Business Analytics, Check Ins, geosmart, gps, new zealand, proximity based marketing, Retail, territory management, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Consumers are Checking In to Retail Stores

In my previous blog I pointed out that that retailers were not adopting strategies for check in location based marketing. In the blog prior to that I quoted Comstat research that shows that in the first 3 months of this year 16.7 million people check into locations using Foursquare and similar applications, representing 7.1% of the total mobile population. I don’t know what the statistics are for New Zealand, but I suspect the numbers are somewhere between 5 and 7% of the NZ mobile user population.

Comstat also came up with some interesting statistics about the demographics of those users.

Firstly a lot of people think this is technology for men, that they are the geeks, but of course women love to shop, they are social shoppers and as the graph shows, there are in fact more women than men checking in!

The predominant age group should be no surprise, we would expect 18-44 year olds to be the most tech savvy and of course having disposable income for Smartphones which are the predominant mobile used for check ins. Again from Comstat for the first 3 months of this year in the USA Android pipped Apple at 36.6% to 33.7$ of devices used for checking in.

The largest group of users were in full time employment 46.6% and the second largest at 23.3% were full time students.

Just as a footnote to my blog on Group Deals and Bricks and Mortar Business there was an interesting story in eMarketer a couple of days ago. The story contained statistics that from research by Cooper Murphy Copywriters in July this year, 82% of Groupon users expressed dissatisfaction with the level of repeat business they generated from their campaigns and 49% would not use them again. This is interesting when many companies use daily deal type promotions to introduce new customers to their stores.

Of course you know where I am going with this series and that is that Location or Proximity Based Marketing offers far more compelling tools for retailers and other destination businesses to entice people into their premises. Obviously a fundamental component of that is not just how to get them to come to you, but how to get them there when you want them and to have them purchase or consume products or services that achieve your goals. For a retailer that might be those same products you were quitting on a daily deal, but like the Auckland superette owner who has been selling milk at 10 cents below cost as a loss leader, part of the strategy behind that is the opportunity to merchandise other products those same people will buy with a healthy profit margin. If you have an aged stock problem, location based marketing can get people into your store and while they enjoy the low price of your distressed inventory, put something at eye level in from of them that increases the profit of your sale. Cherry pickers do not make you profit.

Likewise if you have a cafe or restaurant, don’t just offer a free coffee with $5 worth of food. Offer it only at times when your business is empty and not to the people who were coming in anyway, they are dealt with using your normal loyalty program. Of course loyalty marketing is also very important and fits into location, but you’re going to have to come back to a future blog for that.

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August 11, 2011 Posted by | Android, Auckland, Business Intelligence, Check Ins, competition, Distribution, foursquare, iphone, lbs, location based services, map tools, Mapping Applications, Marketing, Mobile maps, new zealand, proximity based marketing, Retail, Retail Profit, ROI, Sales, software, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Furniture Shops can Save Time and Money on Deliveries with Route2GO Lite

Do you have delivery vehicles? How would you like to be able to do more deliveries in a day just by being a bit smarter? It’s expensive running a truck, especially in the city where traffic congestion is a given most days of the week. In the furniture business you may have a plan of which areas you will deliver to on certain days of the week. That’s a plan, but if a customer says he will only buy that expensive lounge suite if you deliver it tomorrow, do you walk away from the business? Times are better than I thought if you can do that.

In this industry and today’s economy a furniture store or chain needs to be smart, deliver on its promises and be competitive.

So what does your vehicle truly cost you to operate. Your accountant should be able to give you information on the total cost of ownership for your trucks or vans per annum. This includes depreciation, maintenance, petrol and oil, road user charges if applicable, insurance, tyres and other consumables and of course petrol. You will know the distance the vehicle has driven over the 1 year period, so can come up with a per km cost for this vehicle. So now divide the total cost of the vehicle for one year by the kilometres driven and you have your per km rate. This is important because you can’t calculate your return on investment on a service without knowing what your initial costs are. This of course doesn’t include the costs of the driver and possibly second staff person required in the truck because much furniture is to bulky or heavy for one person to manage.

A key problem with furniture delivery is that no two days are the same. This means that you can’t just plan a route out and repeat it. Each day you need to prepare a new run sheet and rely on someone to put it into an appropriate order. Sounds easy and obviously this is what people are doing every day. The problem is that, even with a printed road map, you may not know about one way streets, no right turns, dual carriageways where you can’t do a U-Turn and so on. We are currently working through some recent daily run sheets for a medium sized furniture retailer. The very first run sheet we processed through Route2GO, the optimised route was half of the distance of the route they did. It cut down their driving time for the day’s work by about an hour, meaning they could have easily done two more deliveries in the same amount of time.

So what skills do you need to be able to use Route2GO Lite? The minimum is the ability to correctly spell the street names you are going to and to follow the instructions in our user manual. You enter the addresses you are going to and we tell you what order to do them in.It can be as simple as that. If you have someone on staff that has basic spreadsheet skills, you can do so much more.

You can load the truck in reverse order so you’re not wasting time re-handling the furniture on the truck each time you stop. You can do much more and we’re going to tell you more about it in this blog. You can also get some more information on our web site. Best thing you can do is talk to us about your business. you can contact Luigi Cappel on phone 09 9668 768, or email luigi.cappel@geosmart.co.nz. Send us a job sheet for a run you have already done and let us check it for you. We’ll tell you whether we think we could have suggested a better route. Want to try it for yourself, we can set you up with a free trial so you can see how it works for your business.

Subscribe to this blog if this is of interest because I am going to come back and provide more information about how this can help your business grow. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, you just have to have the desire to increase productivity and profit and provide a competitive level of service that will have your customers coming back for more and recommending you to their friends. Now check out where the tangible ROI comes from.

Finally remember that the companies who are best prepared in tough times are going to profit the most when the economy picks up. We want to help you. You understand the furniture trade, we understand New Zealand roads and how best to get around them.

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Route2GO, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments