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Enhancing the Customer Shopping Experience through GPS Navigation

As the shift from online to mobile and consumer smartphone adoption continues to grow, the mobile marketing movement is becoming more sophisticated.  The question many marketers have is how do you make each and every user who interacts with the brand through numerous digital platforms feel like their interactions are personal and unique?  One channel in particular that is enhancing the customer shopping experience is the concept of indoor GPS navigation.

A recent Mashable article stated that Macy’s has partnered with Meridian, a leading mobile-software company, to add a new indoor GPS feature to its iPhone app.  The GPS navigation provides indoor turn-by-turn directions for its enormous flagship location in New York City’s Herald Square.  The goal is that Macy’s will gradually expand the mapping feature to most of its other retail locations.

In addition, the new GPS feature goes one step further by directing users to specific items at a given location.  Jeff Hardison, vice president of Marketing and Business for Meridian told Mashable that “Not only will we be able to give shoppers a utility to get around stores and find products, but now we will be able to ask if they want to receive offers based on where they are standing.”

I think the concept of indoor GPS navigation is an excellent use of technology and has the potential to be a powerful tool for Macy’s and other retailers.  It allows retailers to connect and engage with customers in a personal way that enhances and adds a new element to their shopping experience.  In addition, the concept of indoor GPS navigation allows marketers to better target offers in hopes of increasing customer conversion.

As the mobile marking movement continues to grow, retailers are going to have to engage with customers even more and give them a reason to use their mobile app.  A retailer’s mobile app should not only be creative, fun and interesting, but should also enhance the customer shopping experience.  The concept of indoor GPS navigation has the potential of transforming a retailer’s mobile app from novelty to more utility, thus creating real value for customers.

Would you use indoor GPS navigation in a retail store?  Share your thoughts!

Here is the Mashable article for more details on indoor GPS navigation: http://mashable.com/2012/11/08/macys-indoor-gps/

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