Indoor Mobile Location: 2017 Year in Review

This past year was a big one for the indoor mobile location industry. Although those small, battery-powered beacons may have moved out of the spotlight, major developments from leading hardware manufacturers and Google have set the stage for rapid industry growth and scale.

BLE Signals Became Ubiquitous

Thanks to a new generation of WiFi access points, LED light fixtures and payment terminals, (most of which now come standard with embedded BLE broadcasting capabilities), many retailers found themselves with an extensive indoor location signal network when they completed their planned retail infrastructure upgrades. The operational challenges of deploying indoor location signals was finally solved! According to industry estimates, there are now more than 17 million indoor location signals deployed globally.

Google Introduced Industry Standards and Audience Scale

With Google’s introduction of a global beacon registry and standardized APIs for proximity-based services, retailers and mobile app publishers finally had an open and transparent ecosystem for indoor location. And once Google activated its Nearby Notification service, retailers were able to reach hundreds of millions of consumer smartphones with their in-store location signals.

At Swirl, we knew that retail marketers needed an easy way to take advantage of the powerful tools and capabilities offered by Google. That’s why we integrated our Mobile Presence Marketing Platform with Google’s beacon services and became the only Google-certified Location Services Provider in the US. The result? Early beacon pilots finally morphed into meaningful and sustained initiatives. In fact, in the weeks leading up to the critical Black Friday shopping event, retailers used the Swirl platform to measure and influence more than 3 million store visits.

Swirl Integrations Made Indoor Location Data Actionable

With retailers generating more and more indoor location data, they were eager to act on that data in a variety of ways. Swirl responded by developing direct integrations that allowed them to enhance and extend the systems and partnerships they already had in place. These integrations made it easier for retailers to manage their location signals, add physical world location data to existing omnichannel marketing efforts, enhance the relevance of marketing messages and connect online media investments to retail store foot traffic with new attribution capabilities. We are excited about the possibilities that are ahead in 2018!


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