How SMEs can leverage location intelligence to win customers’ hearts

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Location. It’s more than just ‘here’ or ‘there’. Every location means something to someone, so it is essential that every location can be easily found.

In order to gain information about a location, many businesses are recognising the importance of location intelligence (LI). But what exactly is it, and how can SMEs gain the full benefits that LI brings?

What is location intelligence?

A simple way of describing LI is as a set of practices, including geocoding, address data verification, data cleansing, property profiling and neighbourhood analysis. It is a great way for businesses to get to know their customers’ needs, reduce costs, calculate optimum routes, value property, improve deliverability and increase efficiency.

At Loqate, we understand that location has never been so important, so we commissioned Location Intelligence Drives Competitive Edge In The Digital Age, conducted by Forrester Consulting, in order to discover attitudes towards and use of location intelligence.

What we discovered

In our study, we found that over the next three years, 77% of businesses believe location intelligence data will be important or even critical to them. Many companies are currently adopting location intelligence across areas of customer experience, such as enhancing the user experience (71%) in order to engage customers throughout the lifecycle. This is also particularly valuable in business functions such as customer relationship management (75%), marketing (68%) and operations and IT (64%).

The challenges facing location intelligence

One of the biggest challenges that location intelligence faces is that almost half of businesses currently don’t understand data compliance. Another is that 46% also state that a lack of technology inhibits data analysis and the ability to execute with locational data. This means that many are missing out on the benefits LI can bring.

Overcoming the challenges is key to customer engagement

Though these issues may initially seem tricky to solve, in reality, by not doing so will mean your business will miss out on the huge array of benefits, particularly when it comes to making your customers happy.

The majority of businesses in our study (97%) said that they plan to spend the same or more on location intelligence to support customer experience and business decisions, due to the value it adds.

According to a third of respondents, LI improves brand reputation, and another third stated that ultimately it leads to increased revenue. Thirty six percent of businesses said that location intelligence allows them to engage with customers in ways they never have before.

With the majority of customers reporting that they are in favour of receiving discounts and vouchers based on their location, the potential to build strong customer relationships is huge. This is particularly popular with customers between the ages of 18 and 24, who say that they are interested in having their location used for ongoing customer services, but is also true of over half of those aged 45 to 50.

Yet few businesses still don’t realise how in favour consumers are of sharing location data in return for promotional discounts or for improved checkout processes. In understanding what customers actually want, and implementing the tools that will allow them to provide this, they could dramatically transform the service they offer. While LI is currently important in engaging with customers, it will become critical in the near future, meaning businesses will need to get up to speed with it sooner rather than later.

Overcoming the challenges that face location intelligence is possible, and more than that, is essential, and many businesses are now taking steps to better understand LI. In fact 42% of firms are seeking out or aim to seek out third party location intelligence providers in order to strengthen relationships with customers, improve location data and build brand reputation.

Interested in finding out more about the power of location intelligence? Check out the full report –Location Intelligence Drives Competitive Edge In The Digital Age