Local search app revenues to hit £8.4bn by 2020


Emerging technologies fundamental to 250% growth

Local search and discovery apps will generate revenues of £8.354 billion ($12.2 billion) annually in 2020, up from an estimated £2.368 billion ($3.4 billion) in 2016, according to a new study.

Juniper Research has stated that the key to this growth will be the emergence of proximal wireless technologies, such as: LTE-Direct; Bluetooth; Ultra-Wide Band (UWB); and Wi-Fi Fine Timing Measurement (FTM).

These technologies will be particularly pertinent in indoor settings, where a range of new services can be offered to the end user, said Juniper.

The new research found that retailers are rapidly deploying Bluetooth beacons in the first instance in order to develop proximity marketing services. These, combined with asset tracking technologies, allow retailers to develop personalised offers based on real time stock levels, Juniper noted. Juniper expects retailers to spend $2.4 billion annually on beacons and asset tracking in 2020.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi FTM and UWB, both expected to proliferate from 2017 onwards, will provide solutions for highly accurate positioning indoors. “Precise positioning will be the hook for many indoor location services,” noted research author Steffen Sorrell. “For example, this will provide new opportunities for brands, where virtual store assistants or shelf-level product finding are delivered directly to the mobile screen.”

Additionally, the research found that the commercialisation of LTE-Direct will be an exciting prospect for vendors and end users alike. As a proximal discovery technology, listening devices will be able to receive offers, news or be notified of events within the vicinity, dramatically widening the scope for proximity communications. Its inability to track users’ location and low battery consumption is likely to allay many consumer concerns over existing location service technologies.

However, the study also found that the industry remains wide open for data analytics services to capitalise on the opportunity presented by location data, with many companies lacking the expertise to maximise its potential.


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