KISS (Keeping it simple) in Retail LBS

Apr 6

KISS (Keeping it simple) in Retail LBS

Complex technology underlies the simplicty of Mobile LBS. Its so complex it should have a four letter acronym (MLBS)!
keep it simpleThe pace of change now is frenetic – retail is undergoing tremendous upheaval and there will be many who don’t survive. New technologies like mobile will change local commerce and retail forever and its going to happen faster than you expect.

“We specifically designed Groupon so that people don’t need to understand or think about group buying in order to use the site.”
— Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason

In previous years there has been many failures in mobile retail – technologies like Bluetooth just didn’t work (well). Now we have the convergence of iPhones/Android, GPS, Wifi/3G to create a rich and powerful user experience.

But just because technology is nice, its not simple. There are two big differences in the way mobile will change retail:

  1. Business Models are changing. You can expect some mobile solutions to “trot out” the same old advertising solution – this will work for a while but ultimately will lead to alienated users. This won’t increase loyalty! However, you will see solutions where LBS/MLBS gives both the shopper and retailer additional experiences that are win/win.
  2. SmartPhone “form-factor” also drives us to “keep it simple” for the user to get a “3 second experience”.That is the test we give ourselves at StreetHawk. If a user is walking on the street we don’t want them to wait for the results (or walk under a bus) – we give them the answer so they can move on.

Any mobile retail solution that is using browser rendering is just not going to delight users!

Everyone already knows this as the “KISS” principle – but many technologists (startups and digital agencies) who have shifted from web pages to mobile are focussing on the wrong things. The technology under the hood is complex – very complex (pre-fetching, caching, preference matching) and lots of effort goes to making it simple.

If retailers would like to learn more about the best way to leverage “Location  Based Services”, then register here on the right-hand-side) or give us a call!

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