Large facilities across the globe have been increasingly using geofencing technology to secure their perimeter and keep track of devices entering or exiting the facility. In addition to this, its advantages include real-time information on facility usage including asset tracking. This post explores the applications, benefits and challenges presented by Geofencing technology.
According to Google, "geofencing is a virtual geographic boundary, defined by GPS or RFID technology, that enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area."
In simpler words, an area surrounded by a virtual fence (Geofence) allows the admin to map the number of devices which come in and go out of the facility. In a government space such as a military base or a scientific establishment it allows for heightened security as visitors and their behavior can be mapped in real-time.
In a retail facility such as a shopping mall, the mall admin can push notifications of offers and deals of visitors located within the confines of this virtual perimeter. All this can be accomplished using a mobile application with geofencing technology.
However, to trigger response from users, they need to relay their location, making their devices recognizable for instant and real-time notifications.
What Enables Geofencing Technology?
With the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and local radio-frequencies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Beacons, geofencing technology works as an instant responsive tool for people.
Geolocation technology is undoubtedly a global phenomenon, for instance: you get into your car after work and commute towards home and suddenly a notification pops up in your phone saying that the route you are about to take consists of heavy traffic. This allows you to pick an alternate route and reach your desired location on time, every time.
Geofencing technology is the reason behind this magic and this technology is said to be the marketing marvel in the promotion industry as well, states a survey.
How Does Geofencing Work?
There are 4 important elements to understand how this technology works:
- The barrier
- The crossing
- The messaging and
- The permission
Firstly, the barrier is a preset placed with the help of technology restricted to limited geography which could be small, big or unimaginably huge facility.
The crossing is when the user enter your predefined zone and you will know it because the mobile phones of the users are often integrated with geofencing and this primarily works with Bluetooth.
The messaging is when the user enters the geofencing territory, a communication will be sent to the users individually via text messages, push notifications, and digital ads.
The permission is the most important part of this transaction, though it is mentioned last. To make the geofencing campaign work, users need to allow you to have access to your GPS information (location turn-on). This will work as permission granted step from the user point of view in order to send notifications, messages, and promotions related to your product, service or what not.
Applications of Geofencing
With impeccable productivity and instantaneous to-do lists to routine household management, geofencing technology has found acceptability in a wide range of applications over the years.
Here are a few of them:
Uses of Geofencing: Location Tracking & Asset Monitoring
Almost all the contemporary enterprises today are already part of the geofencing family. Today, location-based promotions have become a boom and every other mobile app has integrated it for the promoting their product or service.
Geofencing can not only work as a mobile marketing tool alone but can extract the following in various industries as well:
- User Tracking and Analysis
- Facility Control
Geofencing - Challenges
The benefits of using geofencing technology are many but, however, there are few challenges faced by the users and the management.
Privacy Concerns :
As the users need to disclose some of their information in order to avail the benefits of this technology, there is a scope of their information being hacked.
Relevant Messages :
Another major challenge is that if retailers do not have a complete record of specific users, then other users who are not relevant at that point in time will receive communications i.e., notifications from them. Thus making it a pointless and un-ambitious strategy, which is a loss for the senders.
Many surveys disclosed several facts about why geofencing is a hit from day the day it was launched.
- More than 65% of users expect to have information on their mobile devices
- At least 40% users want information on the go
- When sure about getting something in return, 70% of users are willing to share their location information
- Due to location-based marketing (geofencing), stores have seen double the engagements than ever before. Read more and in-detail here.
Geofencing enables growth of retail technology is a promising one, particularly for all mobile application services. Moreover, the effects of using this technology have lead to more engagement, cost-effectiveness, time savings and a truly transformative experience for large enterprises.