LBS promises big business opportunities
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| April 25, 2012, 10:50 a.m.
Location-based services (LBS) have topped the global league as the mobile feature set to grow the most, after world leading insights consultancy TNS revealed over 60% of those that don't yet use the service globally want to start using them.
TNS's annual Mobile Life study – which explores mobile use among 48,000 people in 58 countries – shows the majority of people around the world now recognize the value of sharing their location to benefit from a range of services.
The key findings, released as a set of interactive visualizations (www.tnsglobal.com/mobilelife) show that the services and apps people use vary considerably from region to region.
Almost one fifth (19%) of the world's six billion mobile users are already using LBS, with more than three times this number (62%) aspiring to do so in the future.
Navigation with maps and GPS is currently the most popular motivation behind the LBS uptake (46%), but there is growing interest in more diverse activities, with 13% of current social network users 'checking-in' through platforms like Foursquare, or Facebook Places – a 50% uplift on 2011.
LBS users are increasingly using services to enrich their social lives, with one in five (22%) using it to find their friends nearby. Around a quarter use the technology to find restaurants and entertainment venues (26%) or check public transport schedules (19%) and 8% to book a taxi.
Savvy LBS users have realized that there is something to be gained from sharing their locations with brands and retailers – with one in eight (12.5%) sharing their location in exchange for a deal or special offer.
Beyond current users of LBS, a third of people globally (33%) who already or would like to use mobile voucher coupons, highly rate receiving deals when they are nearby a store that they like. One in five mobile users (21%) stated that they find mobile advertising interesting if it is offering them a deal near their current location.
James Fergusson, Global Head, Digital & Technology Practice, at TNS, explained: "We are really starting to see location based services 'come of age'. People are realizing that sharing their location often offers some kind of reward in terms of a discount or deal. It is the combination of time and context – directing people towards a deal when they can easily redeem it – that unlocks a powerful tool for marketers to develop precise targeting approaches."
While the study has shown an increasing willingness to engage with LBS, there are also significant variations in people's reasons for embracing the service across different markets.
Of all current LBS users, Latin Americans most use the feature to find friends, with 39% stating it as the top reason to share their location, compared to only 11% in India. Finding friends via LBS falls to just 9% in North America and only slightly higher in Europe at 20%.
Applications of LBS also differ widely around the world. In the technology-saturated markets of developed Asia 36% of people use location services to find restaurants and entertainment venues nearby, whereas in China this falls to 17%. This puts Chinese people just ahead of Sub-Saharan Africa, where 10% of LBS users use it to find places to go out.
James Fergusson continued: "These regional variations highlight the importance of having a targeted strategy when it comes to location based marketing. LBS offers marketers an unprecedented level of engagement and targeting, however it has to be done in line with how people in individual markets want to engage with brands to avoid being intrusive. Where brands get it right, we have seen significant rewards in terms of brand engagement, loyalty and sales."
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
TNM pays K19.9m with mobile insuranceMalawian mobile network service provider TNM has announced that it has paid a total of K19.9 million worth of claims to beneficiaries of TNM Moyo Cover, the operator’s on-mobile life insurance policy. Read More
DRC mobile banking faces challenges in remote areasIsidore Monga is a civil servant whose salary, like millions others in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is now being paid via mobile banking. Read More
Orange, Bank of Africa to offer new mobile financial services in AfricaIn the coming months, Bank of Africa and Orange Money customers will be able to transfer money directly from their Orange Money account to their BOA account and vice versa simply with their mobile. Read More
Over 20m airtime advances through PasavuteNet1 Mobile Solutions in partnership with Supa Pesa, has serviced more than 20 million airtime advance requests for the advance airtime service Pasavute from Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM). Read More
Smart wearables market to generate $53bn hardware revenues by 2019New findings from Juniper Research revealed that the global retail revenue from smart wearable devices will treble by 2016, before reaching $53.2 billion by 2019, compared to the $4.5 billion expected this year. Read More
MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersUgandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. Read More
University of Yaounde I adopts MTN Mobile MoneyMTN Cameroon has signed a partnership agreement with the University of Yaounde I for the use of the MTN Mobile Money solution by students for their financial transactions with the university. Read More
Agents say Glo Xchange will empower NigeriansAgents of Nigeria’s super mobile money agent network, Glo Xchange have commended Globacom for the platform which is aimed at deepening financial inclusion and promoting Nigeria’s electronic payment system. Read More
Tigo Tanzania launches mobile money savings serviceMillicom-owned Tigo Tanzania has launched Tigo Wekeza - “Tigo Invests” - the world’s first mobile money service that allows customers to earn automatic returns on their balance. Read More
MasterCard, Apple to Integrate Apple Pay Cardholders for mobile paymentApple has unveiled Apple Pay that will enable MasterCard cardholders to use their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch for everyday purchases. Read More
FEATURED STORYMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers
Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIG President speaks his mind
Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.