In these early days of augmented reality (AR), we’re learning a lot about consumer behavior and preferences — the same learning curve defined the early days of smartphone apps. One lesson so far is that consumer AR use cases will be fairly limited. It’s not a silver bullet and it’s not for everyone.
We recently caught up with Local SEO Guide CEO Andrew Shotland whose Local SEO Ranking Factors report finds that national brands’ migration to local search, especially multi-location retailers. Focused erstwhile on e-commerce, competitive pressure has compelled them to view their locations as an edge in local search.
Facebook has been formidable in a few key areas of local — mostly among SMBs. It has penetrated further in SMB adoption than any other entity to date, and Street Fight data indicates sustained growth. That’s half the battle for Facebook: The other half is gaining equal favor as a local search and discovery engine among users.
Local advertising is a $150 billion market, and is particularly conducive to AR, given the technology’s ability to qualify purchase decisions in the commerce-heavy offline world. There will be a land grab for this digital real estate as mobile AR gains consumer traction. There will be also questions about who “owns” that virtual space.
Indoor mapping continues to be one of those “holy grail” topics in local. It picks up where GPS drops off, tracking consumers all the way to the cash register. The latest move comes from Google, with an approach that could leapfrog beacons by using the positioning capability already in your phone (or soon will be).