2019 Prediction: Location Services & Conversational Commerce

It’s Not Just Voice, it’s conversational commerce. Everyone is talking about voice. But voice’s popularity taps into a larger trend in marketing – the shift towards conversational commerce. Conversational commerce, through voice assistants and chatbots, streamlines the customer journey and eliminates friction. And as artificial intelligence improves, these conversational experiences will only get better and more personal.

Location data is the centerpiece of that evolution. It can power a more differentiated and tailored experience for the end-user. Brands will also rely on geolocation to make more performance-driven campaigns. This will be really valuable for brick-and-mortar retailers who want to encourage nearby foot traffic.

Click-and-collect to deliver even more proximity-based convenience. For brick-and-mortar retailers, in an Amazon world, convenience is everything. This is one of the main drivers of the “near me” mobile search phenomenon, for example, with more opting to shop based on what’s closest. Proximity and convenience are often synonymous.

In the same vein, I think 2019 will be the year click-and-collect – also called buy online, pickup in-store – finally goes mainstream. Savvy brands are creating cutting-edge click-and-collect experiences to standout to shoppers and deliver more proximity-based convenience. And Doddle, the big click-and-collect tech provider, also launched in the US this week at NRF, confirming it’ll be a huge trend this year.

SMB is poised to spend big on location. SMB marketers are going to ramp up spend on location-based campaigns. Whether it’s location-driven ads, more local brand pages or geo-triggered email and marketing automation, to compete, SMBs need to get personal. Location unlocks that capability. This is a good thing for content, SEO and digital agencies that serve SMBs. The demand for location services is a massive revenue opportunity.

To view all of the 2019 predictions, download the report here.

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