Beacons are essentially ‘GPS for indoors’, which allow for proximity-based personalised notifications and alerts. In retail stores, customers can be prompted according to their location, so that promotion and offers can be targeted with greater precision. It is one of the most exciting technological inventions to hit consumer retail in the last few years, and there’s great potential to use these tiny pieces of hardware in clever and creative ways to drive in-store commerce. We’ve written about ‘How Beacons are Poised to take Brick-and-Mortar Sales by Storm’ and how retailers are catching up to this trend.
iBeacon technology opens doors to engage customers where it matters most, benefiting both the customer and the business. In the last few weeks, we have discussed how beacons can be used in museums, stadiums, hotels, airports, and events. In this post, we discuss how marketers can use beacons to enhance customer experiences in-store. This is an abridged version of the full post ‘Marketing with Beacons: 10 Tips to make the most of it‘ on Beaconstac.
Some best practices retailers and brands can adopt to truly revolutionize the customer retail experience are:
1. Optimize Merchandise with Analytics – Beacons provide retailers with endless opportunities to collect massive amounts of untapped data. You can also determine traffic patterns in your store using micro-location information.
Further, it also helps retailers to choose locations and optimize store layouts and product placement based on navigational patterns.
Alex and Ani, a jewelry brand, recently deployed beacons in an effort to retain customers and subtly encourage them to make more purchases.
Image Source: RFID Journal
2. Customer Engagement: Beacons have the potential to take customer engagement to a different level altogether. Contextual information gives customers access to rich product information such as videos at the right time.
For retailers and brands, it is a new way to drive sales by influencing consumers with offers at the ‘moment of truth’.
Kenneth Cole, the American fashion brand saw a significant lift in app open rates and offer redemption rates after enabling beacon-triggered notifications.
Image Source: ibeacon.net.au
3. Empower Sales Associates: Retailers can incorporate device-to-device BLE services, to allow their customers to reach out to sales associates from within an app, when in need of assistance.
Image Source: decisionpt
To get more in-detail insights on these best practices, read the full post here.
4. Contextual Relevancy: Retailers shouldn’t underestimate the value of the perpetually connected consumer. According to reports, 32% of shoppers already use mobile shopping apps, and are willing to try proximity-based apps, because they expect personalized marketing messages in-store.
McCormicks Zatarain’s brand was the first CPG brand to leverage iBeacon enabled apps to deliver special recipe content and product finder information when shoppers walked into grocery stores.
Image Source: Keyringapp
5. Contactless Payments: Beacons can be used in-store to allow shoppers to buy a product in real time using a mobile device without having to use physical payment options such as cash and credit cards.
Paypal has its own beacon that sends out a Bluetooth low energy signal to anyone with the Paypal app.
Image source: readwrite.com
6. Digital Loyalty: Most retail stores send weekly emails on time-sensitive sales or offers with bonus points for loyalty card holders. Customers, however, tend to forget about it when they are busy shopping in-store.
Retailers can notify customers about deals as soon as they enter the store.
7. Customer Rewards System: Retailers can use beacons’ bluetooth network to set up a customer-reward system that allows customers to earn points upon scanning items or entering the store, that they can later exchange for coupons.
Marriott International, a leading hospitality company, recently added two features to it’s loyalty program—LocalPerks and FlashPerks. Beacons placed around the lobbies and other areas push out on-property offers specific to the hotel.
Image Source: Marriott International
8. In-store Navigation: While most other retailers are focusing on using iBeacon technology to trigger sales, Tesco recently leveraged beacons to offer better in-store customer service.
Image Source: Twinkle magazine.nl
9. Personalization: You can target your customers with truly personalized offers by syncing your customers’ shopping lists, wishlists and favourites with your app.
10. Combination of Online and Offline Shopping: Retail stores are now offering features such as “reserve-in-store” and “click to collect”. These features let online shoppers reserve the item they want in a store nearby (the nearest store is suggested based on their GPS information) so they can pick it up instead of having it shipped.
Thus, rather than smashing customers with notifications, the laser precision of a beacon-triggered notification uses contextual signals to talk to them when it matters the most. Read the full post here, to learn how the precision of beacons, combined with data from manufacturers and advertisers can make the buying experience more engaging and less annoying.
If you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at the Beaconstac Starter Kit which includes everything you need to get started. Using the Starter kit you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!