Locaid, a company that offers location-as-a-service tools, today released its Locaid Geofence, a cloud-based API that allows developers to combine real-time customer location data with geographic areas. Using Locaid's location-as-a-service API, developers can create a virtual location perimeter around physical locations such as retail stores, arenas, airports, or schools and create alerts whenever approved devices enter or leave the defined areas.
"Location-based services and geofences have been available for years, but today Locaid launches the mobile industry's first cloud-based API that combines location data with location perimeters to locate and alert any device, without any application download or software purchase," said Locaid's chief marketing officer, Carolyn Hodge, in a statement. "Locaid Geofence is also secured beneath Locaid's privacy-protected gateway, creating a single-source for cross-carrier location, privacy tools, and physical world geofences."
Locaid Geofence allows developers to build virtual fences surrounding an area, which will "trigger" an event whenever a mobile device enters or exits the area. The trigger can be a marketing offer, an alert or alarm, a log file, or an event record. Application developers can configure user push alerts, SMS messages, in-app notifications, or nonmobile messages.
As more consumers use their smartphones to compare prices and make purchases while standing in a competitor's store, marketers and retailers are interested in the API as a tool for combating consumers' "showrooming" behavior with promotions and notifications tailored specifically to their locations.
"Using innovative solutions such as Locaid, Vibes is able to help its clients engage with their consumers based on their precise location and deliver a far more relevant and timely experience," said Brittany Clotfelter, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships at Vibes, a mobile marketing firm.
Approximately 15 percent of respondents said they use their mobile phones in stores to compare prices to online-only rivals, in a recent survey by Forrester Research. Only 8 percent of respondents said they used their phones to "check in" to stores, however, and 7 percent said they used phones to learn about in-store promotions or events, suggesting that geofencing is hardly a silver bullet to retailers' online competition.
Locaid advises customers not to think of its API as a replacement for its other mobile marketing campaigns. The Locaid Geofence API "is an enhancement for any mobile campaign platform for any mobile agency or brand," explained Naomi Morita, head of development at Locaid.
In addition to mobile marketing, Locaid's customers come from other industries, including financial services, mobile gaming, hospitality, fleet and workforce management, child location services, and telematics. Enterprise use cases include automatically triggering timesheets, service calls, asset pickups, fraud alerts, or truancy notifications.