How Location-Based Services Are Transforming The Mobile Industry

Landing Page McDonaldsThe possibilities for location-based services on mobile go beyond consumer-facing apps like FourSquare and Shopkick.

With over 770 million GPS-enabled smartphones, location data has begun to permeate the entire mobile space. It’s powering advertisements, and many other services — from weather to travel apps.

Here’s an overview of a few ways location-based data is transforming the mobile ecosystem:

  • Location-enabled mobile ads: have generated excitement for their effectiveness and the impressive prices they command. The simple fact of a user being physically close to a business, within two miles or so, gives a significant lift to click-through rates on mobile banner ads. Many mobile ad trading platforms are reporting triple-digit increases in location-enabled impressions. However, it turns out some of the underlying location data is unreliable.
  • Location-based features: have turned out to be great for boosting engagement on apps. Facebook, Google, Yelp, Instagram, Groupon, Twitter and dozens of other popular apps offer location-enabled features. These mobile properties, and many others, have moved beyond the “check-in” concept, which in any case never really caught on with users. They may still offer the ability to “check-in,” but are also trying to be more imaginative with location-based notifications and location-aware services.
  • Local data based search: can connect hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses to the mobile economy. Google highlights the “local mobile consumer,” in its ad sales material, and touts statistics that show a third of mobile searches have local intent, and that 94% of smartphone users have searched for local information. In a Google survey, 76% of the respondents said they would like businesses’ location or operating hours, and 61% said they would like to be able to “Click to call” the business.
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