What Are the Location Based Services (LBS)

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The Location Based Services (LBS) include a very wide range of services that provide information to the user based on its physical location. Under the umbrella of LBS, there are all platforms that provide some kind of service, even for information purposes, to a device – and then to its user – depending on its physical location.

The definition itself is very general because the possible Location Based Services are many: from weather forecasts to navigation for vehicles, signaling from the surrounding points of interest in the identification of nearby contacts.

Today, the services that can be offered through a smartphone due to its geo-location through the GPS sensor. These mobile services are also mainly of three types: Navigation (interactive maps, calculate routes, etc.), for the information (reporting of places of cultural interest, news, events, contacts, etc.) and marketing (marketing proximity, in-store actions, targeted promotions, etc.).

From the company’s point of view, the most interesting sector is undoubtedly the third. It is also to the profound technological evolution, which is passing through at this stage the retail industry.

In this sense, the more evolved applications are now those of the proximity marketing, i.e. the conveying of promotional messages and special offers on a customer’s smartphone. It could be the report of a special promotion in a store a few hundred meters from the customer.

Location based preference

The purpose of these forms of promotion is not acting “rain” without distinction of all possible customers but only on those who are more likely to be stimulated to purchase because of their location.

Obviously, things are even more complicated in this description. To convey promotional messages, it requires that the customer has downloaded to the smartphone the specific retailer app and that it is somehow registered and identified the app.

The position of the client itself can be crossed with other information present in information systems of retailers, such as purchase history, the preferences expressed and those derived from the analysis of his behavior during the visits to the company website, or on social networks.

All these data can in principle be connected to each other to optimize the promotional message and increase the chances of involvement.

An evolution of these forms of communication is linked to the in-store activities. Here geolocation by GPS is too imprecise and is spreading the use of so-called beacons, small stationary devices positioned in specific locations of the store that detect the customer’s smartphone via Bluetooth and a dedicated app.

It shows information and promotions related to the area of the store where it is. Systems beaconing have also been used to provide services of navigation within large retail spaces: the user specifies the desired product, and the app shows how to achieve it.

By |2017-02-21T16:47:53+00:00February 21st, 2017|Digital Empowerment, Digital Literacy|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Daniel Ogeto Omwancha November 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Very interesting and educative article, thank you. With the rapid advances in digital technology, many app developers lack the resources to develop software to interpret a smartphone’s location and instead use existing LBS solutions via an API to save time and money. Many companies specialize in liaising with wireless carriers to connect companies with smartphone user locations. These companies provide tools to increase user engagement and connect with the most mobile phone users on the market. Companies well known for their LBS software include AT&T Mobile Marketing Solutions, Voxeo and Esri. These services can be classified into two types: Push and Pull. In a Push type of service, the user receives information from the service provider without requesting it at that instant, although the user may have originally subscribed to the service at an earlier time. The LBS advertisement mentioned earlier is an example of a Push service. In a Pull type, the user has to actively request for information. Such applications cover nearly every aspect related to human mobility. They can be grouped under three main categories: consumer, enterprise and public safety applications. The combined use of wireless communication, location determination, geo-information systems and mobile devices opens the way to develop new or improved information, entertainment, social networking, personal navigation, mapping, geo-advertising, security, and law enforcement tracking services, among others. As mass-market applications many of these services will depend on a high degree of accuracy for their positioning requirements.

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