7 Indoor Mapping Platforms for Retailers
The verdict is in. Shoppers love in-store navigation, mobile product finders, and location-specific coupons that are delivered to their phones while they shop. Most of these services require that retailers have their own branded mobile apps, and all of them require some level of indoor mapping technology.
More than half of shoppers (57%) have used a retailer’s mobile app while in-store. In order for their apps to provide the greatest amount of value, retailers need to tap in to location features, including indoor mapping. When Street Fight first wrote about indoor mapping tools back in 2013, the technology was still relatively young. Now, the market has had time to mature and retailers looking at integrating indoor mapping technology into their mobile apps have an even wider array of vendors to choose from.
Here are seven companies with indoor mapping solutions for retailers.
1. Point Inside
Point Inside offers flexible, advanced indoor mapping technology. Retailers can utilize the company’s Fusion app to get their own store maps into the hands of their customers. These maps can be launched within weeks, versus the months it can take to create indoor maps with some competing platforms. With a basic in-store map in place, retailers can add features that route shoppers to specific points based on their locations and enable user notifications and background data collection for marketing purposes. Point Inside also has a unique search service that retailers can use to give shoppers a way to pinpoint in-store products or deals based on keywords.
Navigine is an indoor positioning engine for businesses. Using the company’s platform, developers can create indoor navigation and tracking services for their own clients’ apps. Navigine’s technology uses a combination of external infrastructure and internal smartphone sensors. It also leverages floor plan features and human motion models. With the Navigine SDK, developers can pinpoint their mobile users within 1 to 3 meters. Like many of the other indoor mapping platforms mentioned in this article, Navigine’s technology can route shoppers to any point on an interactive map and it uses location data to send timely push notifications through mobile apps.
Wifarer’s indoor positioning systems guide shoppers from their current locations to their desired destinations. The company’s location technology shows mobile app users where they are at inside a store in real-time, with “blue dot” navigation that shoppers can use to track their own movements as they walk through the store. Knowing where their shoppers are at gives retailers the opportunity to push “smart coupons” and offer extremely targeted product suggestions. Retailers can also create turn-by-turn directions that lead shoppers to specific brands, products, or seasonal displays.
With a full-featured geospatial platform that integrates business data with indoor maps, Jibestream is an important player in the in-store mapping space. The company was acquired by the indoor positioning and data analytics company Inpixon earlier this summer, and it continues to operate as an indoor mapping and location platform for brands. Jibestream’s wayfinding algorithm uses speed, weight, and accessibility parameters to generate optimal travel paths within retail locations. Retailers can create and build interactive maps that are easy to manage. The mapping platform is agnostic, which means it can be integrated with any third-party application.
5. Meridian Apps
Meridian has created a solution that developers can use to add indoor navigation, location sharing, proximity-aware information, and asset tracking into mobile apps. Powered by Aruba Location Services, Meridian enables GPS-like direction inside physical locations, like department stores and sports arenas. It integrates with Aruba Beacons. Retailers can keep track of the location of key assets and they can launch mobile marketing campaigns that push context-aware notifications to mobile app users. Retailers also have the option to add Meridian’s features to their existing apps via SDKs, or they can use the company’s AppMaker to build their own apps with indoor maps from scratch.
Visioglobe’s 3D mapping tools were built for retailers that want to build interactive maps for indoor navigation. Visioglobe’s apps are designed for fast and practical navigation. The VisioMapEditor is the company’s web-based map design software. Retailers and shopping mall operators can use VisioMapEditor to create maps and chart the best routes through their locations. Once those interactive maps and navigation flows are designed, they can be published to mobile devices, as well as the web and kiosks. Visioglobe works with Apple WiFi based indoor positioning, as well as other beacons for triangulation.
Built on Google Maps, MapsIndoors is a product that retailers can use to add indoor navigation features to their mobile apps, as well as in-store kiosks and websites. By working with Google Maps, MapsIndoors ensures that its retailer clients are able to help guide shoppers to their stores. Once those shoppers have gone inside, it’s MapsIndoors’ indoor positioning technology that provides the guidance. In addition to basic wayfinding, MapsIndoors can be used to target shoppers with offers and coupons based on their real-time locations. Shoppers can also build shopping lists that are optimized based on product location and create routes through stores.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.