Vertical Positioning Makes an In-Store Play for Customers & Retailers - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Vertical Positioning Makes an In-Store Play for Customers & Retailers

Gimbal, a location intelligence platform, and NextNav, a 3D geolocation provider, have partnered to makes the vertical dimension – the Z-axis – available for brands and retailers within their mobile applications. This will enable stores with customer pick-up options to more accurately understand how those customers move through the physical world.

Fulfillment options like curbside and in-store pickup were tested and adopted by a large portion of the U.S. population over the past 12 months. Use of click-and-collect services is expected to continue, driven by ease of use even as health precautions lessen. The BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) option has the potential to significantly transform retail operations, according to experts.

Gimbal’s On-the-Way SDK enables seamless pickup experiences for consumers by letting stores know when their customers have left, if there is unexpected traffic, and when they’ve arrived on-site to pick up an order through real-time updates. The NextNav Pinnacle service improves the vertical accuracy of those estimates by including floor-level altitude measurements throughout the journey. Its urban beacons can also increase horizontal accuracy in urban areas where GPS is susceptible to reflected signals and the “wrong side of the street” or even the wrong block problem.

Understanding when a consumer enters a geofenced boundary and what floor they are on – whether a parking structure, in a building or a sports arena – sets a standard of convenience that is otherwise not possible with GPS coordinates alone. This layered contextual data creates marketing opportunities and operational efficiencies, including:

In-Stadium and Venue Sales: Mobile merchandise or food orders can be easily delivered to fans at their seat via advanced vertical location detection.

Improved Customer Service: Locating customers in a department or retail store with multiple levels allows store associates equipped with tablets to better service customers. This creates upsell opportunities and has a loyalty play, as well.

Product Discovery : Triggering notifications or in-app experiences as users pass by floor-specific products allows for location-aware engagement without the need for any additional hardware.

As the economy continues to open post-pandemic, location services will also serve as a crucial utility for consumers to safely navigate to and through the businesses they frequent, according to the companies.

Further, merchandise brands are partnering with larger retail stores on “store-within-a-store” concepts. For example, floor-level accuracy via NextNav Pinnacle will make it easier for customers to find DTC brands in multi-level stores like Target and Nordstrom.