It’s that time of the year again – where shoppers are eagerly waiting for brands to announce their ‘Black Friday’ deals and offers. Macy’s has already announced that its ‘Black Friday’ shopping time actually begins at 6pm, Thanksgiving day.
Opening stores earlier than others is not the only thing brands will be doing to grab more customer dollars. There are a lot of new interesting technologies brands will use to maximize profits and deliver memorable shopping experiences to their shoppers.
iBeacon is one technology that most brands will put to use this holiday season. This most talked-about and highly disruptive technology of recent times has already been making waves across various verticals like museums, events, stadiums,malls, airports, hotels and restaurants and most of all, retail. Macy’s implementing beacons across 786 of its stores shows how bullish brands are about this technology.
The first thing a business needs for implementing a beacon strategy is a beacon-enabled app. In this post, we will discuss how brands can use beacons to entice and delight customers this holiday season. Let’s take a look:
1. Deliver highly personalized deals and offers: Put yourself in a shoppers’ shoes. It’s Black Friday and there are crowds of shoppers running around, trying to find products they would like to buy. What kind of offers would you like to send to them? (you simply cannot rely on physical display boards in your store to let shoppers know about deals you are offering- with so many people flocking your stores, most boards will not even be visible!)
You need to influence customers at their ‘moment of truth’. If a shopper has your beacon-enabled app installed on his phone, you would be aware of the products he has searched for, tried to buy earlier but could not. If a shopper has an item on his/her online shopping cart, and that item has a huge discount on occasion of Black Friday, let him/her know that and you will have a very happy customer there! By connecting a shopper’s online shopping history with their in-store shopping habits, you can deliver them offers that they will quickly lap up!
2. Manage crowds: A major problem retailers and malls face during the holiday season is crowd management. You can use beacons to collect massive amounts of data such as the busiest hours throughout the day or week, customer dwell time at beacons and number of beacon hits within a specified time and accordingly manage your staff activities better. You could use real-time analytics information to determine which sections of a mall or store are most crowded and thus need more sales associates around.
Image Source: foxbusiness
3. In-store navigation: Major retail chains often change store layouts during the holiday season according to some theme to make the look and feel of their stores different and special. Though it’s a good thing to do, it also means even your most frequent customer will not be sure of where their favorite sections are and where they can find products they need.
Beacons are the solution! Before opening the stores to customers for Black Friday, enable your app to show a virtual map of the store (yes, this feature can be specific to each and every store your retail chain has. Platforms like Beaconstac enable you to do that.) By following directions on the map, your customers will never be left asking for directions.
4. Help locate kids and family members with ease: You can provide your customers with a wearable wrist band that has an in-built locator that allows them to keep track of their kids on the mobile app. All they have to do is set the maximum distance that their kid can go to, and when that limit is exceeded it will trigger alerts on their mobile device. Moreover, beacons can easily direct them to their kids, by identifying their current location and the direction in which they are heading.
By doing this, you can let your customers shop non-stop without a worry in the world!
Image Source: entertainista
5. Provide instant information on rain-checked items: Another pain point for retailers is that offers that are on heavy discounts go ‘out of stock’ quickly. Customers who visit your stores especially for those products will be unhappy. Major retail chains have faced the flak for this in the last few years.
Beacons are the answer. By keeping an eye on products in stock (real-time statistics through your beacon platform), you can quickly set a rule in your app, for all customers looking for that product online or in-store.
Send them a rain-check voucher so they can buy the product at the same discounted price whenever it is available. This is a great way to avoid making your customers unhappy and losing out to competition.
6. Treat your loyal customers royally: Black Friday is the best time to leverage loyalty programs. As a business, you already keep a track of your loyal customers – their favourite products in your store, their shopping behavior online, in-app, and in-store etc. You can make the most of these bits of information and tie them together to deliver specially tailored offers to your loyal customers.
Using beacons you can have an overview of the number of accumulated loyalty points on the shopper’s mobile app and offer personalized alerts and high-value rewards.
Thus, using beacons effectively can help you beat competition and garner trust and happiness among customers that can take your brand a long way!
If you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!