Published in Geolocation content on October 2017. 4 minute read

5 ways to use maps to improve customer experience and engagement

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You might think maps are just good for showing people where to find you, but maps can do so much more. Here are 5 ways to combine maps with other data to help create better customer experiences, increase customer engagement and get more for your marketing budget:

 1. Make it easier for customers to buy from you: a store locator integrated into your website and mobile app makes it easy for customers find their closest store, check opening times, get directions and – if you integrate it with your operational systems – tell them if they can get what they want, whether that's a pair of shoes, a restaurant table or a hair appointment. You can also use their searches to provide tailored promotions, such as offers if they visit their nearest store in the next two days.

2. Get relevant messages to customers at the right time: use a geofence – or virtual perimeter around a geolocation – to send text messages or push notifications to customers when they're near or in one of your stores. You can even set up a geofence around a single display, so you can tell them about the specific items on display and where to find them in the shop.

3. Target your marketing spend more precisely: by combining your own customer data, information on your locations and those of competitors, and third-party data on demographics and lifestyle, you can gain insights into consumer trends, as well more detail on your ideal customer personas and where to reach them. That lets you target advertising such as Google Adwords, billboards and mail drops more precisely, and tailor your messages so they're more relevant and engaging. According to research from KISSmetrics, 60% of advertising professionals say geo-targeted ads deliver a stronger ROI.

4. Improve customer engagement: use maps to providing something extra alongside your product or service that helps you stand out from the crowd. Let customers view the layout of your restaurant and book a specific table. Give customers buying your hiking gear a map of hiking trails. Or just add some fun: Coca-cola in Israel grabbed the number one rating spot for an app that used geofencing to display a user's name on a billboard when the user approached.

5. Improve your view of your supply chain to provide better customer service: let customers check stock levels in a store before they leave home. Help stores redirect customers to the nearest store with stock if they've run out, or offer to transfer the item across from the other store. Allow customers to return purchases made online to any store, and use location data to manage and track those items back into the supply chain.

For more information about how you can use the Google Maps Platform to boost your business by adding geolocation to your operations, click here to talk to our experts.

 How to use location services to create an omnichannel experience

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