Beacons – everyone is talking about them. But what is the impact of this new technology? The answer is: it’s all about improving the user experience.
Retailers can use Beacons, i.e. Bluetooth-based transmitters, to offer location-based services. Smartphone apps can receive beacon signals and interpret them, expanding the user’s context.
The unprecedented rise of iBeacon technology in the last few years has allowed more and more retailers to experiment and discover use cases for micro-location and proximity engagement that were never possible before.
In large department stores, customers can find themselves lost and discouraged from purchasing. Thanks to beacons, they can be reminded about their location in the store and what products can be found in specific areas. This has the double advantage of making the customer feel more at ease and further encourages them to purchase more goods.
Improving Store Layout
Through the implementation of deals and special offers, retailers can communicate by affixing signage to specific groups of discounted products. Also, customers usually don’t notice this arrangement, especially if firms don’t optimize the layout of their stores. With beacons, firms can alert customers about the deals when they pass through predetermined areas, allowing more flexible management of the store’s offers.
Taking this concept one step further, with Bluetooth beacons, it becomes much easier to segment customers based on multiple criteria. By providing different groups of customers with various mobile apps for the store, specific beacons can trigger different messages for different apps. This could, for instance, alert only the most loyal shoppers about a particularly good deal only available to them, without bothering the rest of the customer base.
These beacons are small, low-cost wireless devices and battery operated. In essence, the device transmits a weak Bluetooth signal to other Bluetooth enabled devices in the general area, which can be enhanced by cell phones using an AT&T signal booster or similar. The beacons reach out to customers when someone walks by with a Bluetooth enabled smartphone and the right application.
Providing Excellent Store Experiences
Beacons can help keep current customers by creating a more engaging in-store experience. With these beacons, retailers can navigate customers through a store, find what they want and maybe get a few perks for their efforts. Engagement is only the first step in the plan. It is essential to recapture customers first. After that, retailers can offer customers incentives to come back and stay a while.
The ultimate goal of using beacons should be to deepen a personal relationship with current customers. Rather than using the beacons to draw in new customers or bring back customers who are long gone, firms must use it to create a tailored experience. This experience needs to offer more than just value to customers. It needs to let individual customers know that the effort they made to make it into the store is appreciated and valued.
Retailers already know how easy it is for customers to sit at home. Expressing gratitude to valued customers is a great place to start any strategy. Brick-and-mortar retailers may be struggling, but they are not dead. By accepting online norms and embracing technology in a meaningful way, even old-school retailers like Macy’s and Lord and Tailor have found a way to stop the customer drain and secure bonds between stores and shoppers.
Benefits of Beacons
Beacon technology has proven to be useful as the bridge between brick-and-mortar retailers and customers glued to their phones. Also, it assists in engaging with consumers and providing incentives to enter stores, stay for a while, and conduct purchases.
Beacon technology can also help guide shoppers around a store. Confused customers can lean on this tech to help them find that sought-after widget tucked away on an obscure aisle. Furthermore, it may be used to provide AR experiences, enabling customers to “try” merchandise on without entering a dressing room.
There are numerous benefits to adopting beacon technology. Ultimately, it enables retailers to create more tailored experiences for customers, thereby deepening their relationships. In this section, we’ll break down a few more benefits to using beacons in retail.
Written By: Rajiv Prasad