You already know that location is paramount for local businesses. But it isn’t just your storefront’s location that can make a big difference to your business’s success. Location can also have a big impact when it comes to your market research efforts.
For instance, the questions you would ask someone who is in your store would differ from the questions you’d ask people who are just nearby. And the questions you would ask people nearby might be different from what you would ask those outside your direct neighborhood or city.
Thanks to some new technological advances, you can now actually target customers for your research efforts based on their exact location. This means you can ask customers who are inside your store how their shopping experience is going while they are still in your store. You can also target customers who have just left to get an overall picture of their experience.
To do this, businesses can use indoor proximity systems, or iBeacons. These devices use Bluetooth technology to communicate with nearby mobile devices. That means that your business can set up a system to communicate with people who are inside or directly outside your business’s location.
This type of technology could benefit stores, events, or any other kind of local business that wants to communicate with its customers in real time. It allows these businesses to gather insights while highly personalizing the content based on their shopping or event-going experience.
Since iBeacons can target people on their own mobile devices, customers might be more likely to actually take part in a quick survey. Other in-store methods of research, like asking people to fill out a paper survey after completing their purchase, could be viewed as inconvenient; and while follow-up online surveys distributed via email after the transaction can be effective, this new form of feedback introduces a level of relevance and top-of-mind immediacy not previously available. Today, most shoppers have a mobile device with them anyway, so taking a short survey on their own device might not seem invasive or time consuming.
To make the most of this kind of system, you can offer incentives to customers who provide you with feedback. Just send a quick message like, “ Earn a coupon,” or “Earn 20 percent off your next purchase.” Keeping the message focused on the incentive can attract people who might not otherwise to open the app. This could allow you to gather more insights and also help you create loyal customers in the process.
After all, people who are actually at your location are already thinking about your business. So their comments, concerns and opinions are already at the top of their minds. Sending customers an email or phone message a few days after their purchase typically won’t garner the same type of results. And that is why location matters so much to market research.
To make this type of location-based research even easier, survey company QuestionPro has created a platform that uses iBeacons for this very purpose. The program can integrate with your business’s existing iOS, Android or Blackberry app. Then you can add and edit questions that you’d like to ask your customers directly while they are shopping or visiting your location. For more information, check out “Hyperlocal Research Made Easy.”
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