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The Right Way to Build a Location-Based App in 2021

According to Market Search, the global location-enabled services are expected to hit more than $90,000 mln by 2026.

And this rise is hardly surprising. Today, GPS-powered applications are firmly entrenched in all industries. Whether it’s a food delivery service like UberEats or dating apps like Tinder, geolocation is what empowers these solutions and makes them appealing to the users.

But what lies at the core of location-based technology? And how to create a location-based app for your business? All this and more is going to be answered in this article.

What is a Geolocation Application?

Geolocation is the ability of an application to identify its geographical location. Typically, the device should have an Internet connection to localize itself within the region. From a business perspective, location-based applications let you reap the two main benefits:

  • Enable customers to reveal their location to other customers;
  • Associate physical public places like stores with a user’s real-life location.

As a result, the geolocation technology paves the way for a supreme user experience otherwise impossible offline or on websites.

Among the applications that avail of the geolocation technology are:

  • Location trackers (Waze, Life360)
  • Social networks (Instagram, WhatsApp)
  • Dating apps (Tinder)
  • Wellness applications with GPS route tracking (Sports Tracker, MapMy Walk)
  • On-demand food delivery apps (Uber, UberEats)
  • Weather apps (Yahoo Weather, Weather by Apple), etc.

Now let’s go over to the functional part of geo-based mobile solutions.

Technologies for Real-time Geolocation

For an app to identify the location, it must rely on relevant maps and location services. To make geo-tracking more accurate, we recommend leveraging a combination of tech comforts. Let’s have a look at some of them.

  • Cell ID

Some applications are better off without GPS. In this case, Cellular ID (identification) is accessible even with no Internet connection. A cell tower generates a JSON output file based on the server used to provide an estimated location of the user.

  • Assisted GPS

Assisted or Augmented GPS (A-GPS) is an add-on technology that enables a triple positioning for the global navigation system. A-GPS allows you to increase the accuracy of positioning in areas with weak satellite signals. If you amplify the Cell ID functionality with A-GPS, you’ll get more accurate location tracking.

  • Geofencing

Geofencing refers to virtual areas marked on Google Maps and other maps. It tracks the digital trail that we leave every day when running errands. When you enter a particular geofencing area, your phone with a GPS module transmits the signal. And the store owner can use this signal to send you a push notification about an upcoming sale to your app.

  • iBeacon and Eddystone

The iBeacon technology transmits Bluetooth signals between beacons and compatible devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. In 2015, Google used iBeacon for inspiration and debuted the Eddystone technology. The concept behind iBeacon and Eddystone is simple. The beacon sends a Bluetooth signal to compatible devices within reach at regular intervals.

How To Build A Location-based App: Step by Step

Location-based applications are quite challenging to develop. They require methodical planning and a multi-step process that includes several stages. Let’s go over the main milestones and shed light on a step-by-step process on your way to a location-based application.

Stop 1. Get the Lay of the Land

You have a nice-looking business idea. Great. But have you analyzed it enough to jump on the current user trends? If not, a Business Analyst will help you check your idea against current market needs and perform competitor research to get a 360 view.

You can also benefit from arranging all insights into a story map. It will help you create a more holistic view of how your app idea aligns with current user preferences. If you fail to chart out your development path, you won’t get a high-quality application with market value.

Stop 2. Create a Wireframe of Your Application

Wireframing is a vital step for geo-based app development. This process refers to the concept of creating an interface design structure to demonstrate how elements will be placed on the layout.

Wireframes are not just unnecessary templates that take up the development time. Those design skeletons hold the rest of the body together. If a designer skips the wireframing step, one will add extra work.

Stop 3. Validate Your Idea with MVP

A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a product with just enough functionality to present it to your target audience. This business practice is especially valuable early in the app development cycle since it allows your team to fetch real-user feedback and iterate the development process. Also, it’s a great chance to share your project’s objective and pique the user’s interest.

Stop 4. Build a Full-fledged Application

After fetching your share of valuable insights, you can proceed with implementing more functionality to your location-based application.

Based on your objective, your app development team will implement a set of nice-to-have features and add more must-have functionality. However, despite the type of your application, remember to include the account creation function and other basic features like social login, push notifications, and others.

By adhering to the time-tested stages, you’ll create a high-quality location application that can stand up to the growing competition.

How Your Business Will Benefit from Location-Tracking Mobile Application

Brewing up a project idea costs zero, whereas turning your business idea into reality is a resource-intensive process. Since lots of factors such as unique functionality, the number of platforms, and timeframe influence the total, it’s almost impossible to put a price tag.

If you want to dress up the existing solution, you won’t have to shell out for it. But if you need to build a full-fledged application from scratch, be ready for more expenses.

For example, your team can fully implement the geo-location functionality within 5-10 hours using an external API. But when we’re talking about a fresh design for geo-based products or building a unique functionality with GPS data, the price goes up.

Benefits of Geolocation for Businesses

Communicate with Your Customers

Companies can reach the customers when the latter checks in any nearby place. Thus, businesses can promote special offers and deals by sending a text or push notifications to the users’ smartphones. It also allows businesses to narrow down their target location and offer their customers more targeted deals.

Contribute to the Customer Loyalty Program

Retaining the existing clients means prompting them to repeat their behavior. This way, they’ll come back to your service again and again. Location-based mobile apps can boost customer loyalty and brand awareness by offering repeat clients some discounts or vouchers. And so by offering special buying opportunities to regulars, you can keep them coming through your door to purchase more.

Draw in New Customers

Location-based marketing is all the rage now thanks to its ability to target a customer at a granular level. By leveraging location data, marketers can attract new consumers based on identifiers like proximity to a store, and others. You can also encourage the audience to test your products through the mobile solution and convert them into your loyal customers.

Make Location-Based Content and Ads

According to the data by MarTech Series, more than 8o% of marketers support the fact that the campaign performance doubles when using geo-specific data.

Location-based content and ads help companies develop a better vision of what their customers need and prefer. This way, they can deliver tailor-made content to boost customer engagement and get more responses.

The Bottom Line

Geolocation technology fuels the digital transformation for lots of businesses today. From real-time communication and higher traffic to efficient engagement, location-based products can reset your business perspective. Therefore, if you’ve been looking for a way to step up your performance and grow your influence, geotracking mobile applications might be your answer.

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