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Geofencing Done Right

DZone's Guide to

Geofencing Done Right

Geofencing can be very useful, or very annoying, depending on how you implement it. Find out what these companies are doing right.

· Mobile Zone
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Five years ago when geotargeting was still in its infancy, the idea of it creeped people out. Giving apps the ability to track where you are seemed incredibly invasive. Boy, are those days gone. And rightfully so, as geotargeting has proven to be incredibly useful to the end user.

In a new city and want to find a decent spot for lunch? Late for an interview and took a wrong turn? Need an Uber? Geofencing capabilities have transformed our day-to-day in more ways than we even realize. I’m going to make a prediction that in 2 years, over 90% of apps will utilize geofencing capabilities. It’s that important. If your app’s not there yet, not to worry. We’ve rounded up some of today's top apps that are crushing the geofencing game:

1. Sephora

I was walking by Sephora in Boston when I got this message and had completely forgotten about several Sephora gift cards I received for Christmas. Forty-five minutes and $300 later, the gift cards were spent. This is a prime example of geofenced push notifications done right. Sephora used it as an opportunity to serve me up a friendly reminder not only about them, but about the free money I had to spend. And with that one-two punch, I was back in and shopping at Sephora again.

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2. Apple Reminders

Speaking of friendly reminders, shout out to Apple for helping keep my life on track since circa 2011. Adulting is hard, but I can fake it ‘til I make it with helpful reminders from Apple. Best of all? Apple taps into geofences in order to send you reminders upon entering or leaving an exact location. Talk about checking things off your to-do list efficiently.

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3. JetBlue

While heading into Logan airport for my flight to Florida, JetBlue sent me the above push notification. Not only was it timely, but highly relevant. Who doesn’t love in-flight entertainment to distract them from the fact that they’re 30,000 feet above solid ground? Anything to ease the flying experience is helpful for me, so I was happy to receive this message. JetBlue used geofencing technologies as another way to improve their customer experience.

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4. Apple Maps

Yes, I’m going there. Who would have thought Apple Maps would be included on a best of, list? Kidding. But in all seriousness, Apple Maps deserves some love. I received the above push notification when my husband turned on his car. Given how far we were from home, it was nice to know we weren’t going to run into any issues, and could swipe through to get directions.

Apple used geofencing to know that I was away from home, but was getting into my car after some time away and then sent a relevant push notification with information about my drive home. Pretty cool.

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5. ProximiT

For anyone who rides the MBTA, you know what an experience it can be. That’s why I love ProximiT. In the app, you can put in your frequented T stops (e.g. home and work), and from there, ProximiT will send your updates in the form of push notifications whenever you’re near the stop.  

ProximiT’s incredibly smart use of geofencing gives T riders all the relevant information they need, and at the right time. It’s the perfect example of geopush done right.


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So there you have it — 5 apps who took advantage of geofencing to send highly relevant push notifications and promoted better brand experiences in the process. The underlying theme of all of these push notifications is that they are tailored to the end user, so they don’t come off as spammy. As geofence push notifications continue to advance, it’s our job as mobile marketers to ensure this powerful tool is used to enhance user experience, and never to annoy.

Analysts agree that a mix of emulators/simulators and real devices are necessary to optimize your mobile app testing - learn more in this white paper, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

Topics:
geofencing ,mobile

Published at DZone with permission of Justina Perro, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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