Location Is the New Shopping Assistant

Point Inside, a Seattle, Wash.-based company that provides consumer location-based services, today announced a Find-It application specific to the Meijer retail chain. The software, for both Android (s goog) and iOS (s aapl) handsets, uses Point Inside’s mapping solution to provide shoppers the instant location of any of the more than 100,000 items sold by Meijer. Currently in a pilot phase, the Find-It application is supported in four of Meijer’s 196 locations in the U.S.

Aside from directing customers to find any in-store item, the mobile app also shows Meijer’s current sales and other promotions:  a clever use of marketing to a captive audience. Customers can also mark their parking location with the software before entering the store, and once inside, the app can quickly point out Meijer’s customer service areas and rest rooms.

My previous experience with Point Inside’s location software was very positive. I recently used the free software to navigate my way through the King of Prussia mall, which has the most leasable square footage of any mall in the country. Instead of searching for a directory — and sheepishly looking for the “You Are Here” sticker — Point Inside provides a directory on my phone, as well as my current location.

Hyper-local and indoor solutions such as Point Inside don’t just offer consumer benefits, however. The less that customers ask store employees where to find something means more potential productivity for the retailer. By marrying real-time location and marketing, customers are more likely to make a purchase when a great deal is at, or within a few feet of, their current location. The next steps are recommendations from social contacts, coupons, or location-specific gaming and rewards in the vein of Shopkick.

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