In preparation for the new year, PerformanceIN continues its annual tradition of connecting with performance marketing experts to get their single biggest prediction for the industry in 2017.

In this piece, Mike Sharp, head of paid search at equimedia, tips a big future for hyperlocal search among retailers. 

Over the last 12 ​months Google has made many steps towards a hyperlocal world, where it can be aware of an individual’s precise location, allowing them to deliver content and advertising that is relevant to the specific needs of the individual, and measure what they do in response.

Google has also very recently launched its ‘Store Visits’ in beta which attempts to measure the impact of hyperlocal advertising by counting the footfall to a specific location. This is a really exciting development for any business with presence on the high street as it finally allows for tangible measurement of paid search activity, where the final conversion often happens offline. 

As our online and offline worlds merge, and the line between virtual and reality becomes increasingly blurred.
Google’s goal is to deliver the most relevant results to its users, a growing number of whom are accessing its products from mobile devices. While the long-term impact of hyperlocal search remains to be seen, improvements to emerging and alternatives channels is vital for small businesses, who compete in a dynamic online marketplace that constantly requires them to revaluate their strategies and tactics.

Amazon has launched a retail store with deep learning algorithms that allow shoppers to pick whatever they want and come out of the store without waiting for a checkout or billing process. It’s called ‘just walk out’ and uses the same systems as self-driving cars. We can expect to start seeing this technology implemented on our high street in the not so distant future. 

Google and Amazon have been defining and redefining businesses for decades now. They offer consumers accurate, relevant personalisation, and consumers are now demanding this from their local restaurants and shops. To deliver this, companies need to be able to recognise individuals and identities across all channels, both online and in the real world.  

With mobile now an essential part of a retailers’ toolkit, we can also expect to see Amazon’s marketing method being implemented across our high streets. It’s been 22 years since the company was launched in Seattle, and it’s gone on to become the high street’s biggest competitor. As one of the most successful digital businesses of this time gears up for a big 2017, brands would be wise to adopt hyperlocal tactics for their marketing strategies, to compete with Amazon’s new high-street presence.