Zachary Adam Cohen recently wrote an article on Mashable about the convergence of different location based mobile technologies like Four Square and how they one day could impact businesses at the POS (point of sale). Zachary argues that though mobile location-based technologies have positive effects there are still significant gaps that need to be filled for SMBs and larger businesses like the Gap to really harness the capabilities of data that location-based technologies generate.
Zachary goes on to talk about the connections that could be made between retailer and customer. For instance, POS systems and a retailer’s customer database system could integrate with a customer’s location and in-store action data for the purpose of feeding that customer customized offers.
I agree there are some great things that could come from using this data effectively like creating real-time personalized offers. It seems as if the consumer side data is being created but the business / retailer side of the equation, the ingestion of the data, still needs development. I think that being able to measure the “in-store” actions of a customer and knowing when and what they purchase or prefer, against what call-to-action, is a huge need for SMBs that doesn’t currently exist.
For many businesses the trick is going to be how to integrate and mesh this social data with existing exclusive systems and databases. But, as Zachary mentions, location and conversion data needs to reach critical mass before retailers big and small will find great benefits in it.