We look at our phones about nine times an hour, or roughly once every six and a half minutes for every moment we're awake. We use them all the time too, from collaborating with coworkers, to shopping for holiday gifts. In fact, on Black Friday, 2016, retailers reported that for the first time ever, purchases on mobile devices exceeded $1 Billion for the 24 hour period after Thanksgiving, and made up 36% of all Black Friday sales. It's no wonder that our phones have become the primary tool that we use to access, consume, and engage with digital content at home, on the go, and in the workplace, and that mobile engagement habits often influence our business/consumer decisions as much as business/consumer decisions influence our mobile habits (booking a hotel immediately on your phone, based on your current location vs. booking a hotel in advance online, and then checking to see if you can access your reservation on your phone.)
Despite our mobile connectivity, many businesses still choose to engage customers through non-mobile channels. Walk through any local shopping district, and you'll see billboards, signs, and window displays, and even salespeople handing out product samples. Some of these analog tactics may be timely in that customers are near a business when an offer is being presented, but not relevant to the majority of people who pass by, and therefore, an inefficient means of customer engagement. Conversely, an email announcing an in-store promotion may be relevant to those it specifically targets, but not timely in that customers may be far away and may forget about the offer before their next store visit. In order to effectively and efficiently engage with customers, companies need to make their communications both timely and relevant. How can a company use "Mobile" to do this?
One way is to incorporate location-based services into your company's mobile app. Location-based services use beacon technology to communicate directly with customers in a way that is both timely and relevant. When a customer walks into, or near, a store, a beacon can send a pre-programmed message or offer to that customer's phone through a push notification. The customer can then redeem the offer immediately. The communication is timely because the customer is in, or is near, the store, and is relevant because only customers who have the company's app installed will received the message. Although the retail implications are obvious, this technology can also be used in the workplace to communicate timely and relevant information to employees and managers, such as when a conference room is available or how well attended a meeting may be.
Sofbang, an Oracle Platinum Partner, has developed a location-based service implementation using its extensive cloud experience and Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, which has built-in location-based features. You can read more about Sofbang's very cool solution here, and you can try out Oracle Mobile Cloud Service here.