In an attempt to drive customer engagement and provide a competitive differentiator, most retailers are looking for ways to add exciting and unique features to their apps. While some are experimenting with gamification in their mobile apps, others are mobile payment options and streamlining the checkout process as ways to enhance the app experience.
Let’s have a look at some striking retail app features that leverage iBeacon technology to enhance customer shopping experience in-store.
1. Personalized, custom-made offers: Retailers can use beacons to target customers with truly personalized offers by syncing customers’ shopping lists, wishlists and favourites with their app.
Duane Reade’s app does a great job of using beacons in combination with its other retail app features to send personalized offers to customers. The retailer upgraded its iPhone app to include support for beacons in ten of its 240 New York stores in its attempt to foster customer engagement.
Customers receive coupon offers based on historical data and product reviews for timely content at the point-of-decision. The app also has an in-store mode that provides customers with quick access to their Balance Rewards loyalty program barcode, a paperless coupon scorecard that indicates the total number of coupons clipped and the savings associated with each.
2. In-Store Pick up: This feature is quite popular among customers as it lets them buy items online and pick them up in a store, thus avoiding shipping and scheduled delivery charges. It also helps them get the order faster. Beacons make it much more convenient – both for the retailer and the customer. As soon as a customer who has placed an order for ‘in-store pick up’ is in the vicinity of the store, the store staff make sure that the order is ready for pick up. This saves the customer a lot of time and the retailer is able to deliver a great experience to the shopper.
Tesco, the grocery store giant, piloted beacons in its Chelmsford location as part of an experiment with its MyStore app. The app allows customers to order online and when they arrive at the store, beacons notify the staff to keep the order ready. It also notifies customers about their online order being ready for pickup. The store aimed to use push messaging to add value to their customers’ shopping experience and not just send offers.
3. Product Finder: The product finder feature can be a huge boon for large stores, where finding a product or a particular aisle can be quite difficult.
McCormick & Co.’s Zatarain’s brand leveraged iBeacon technology in their app, in a great way. The brand used beacons to deliver special recipe content and product finder information when shoppers walked into grocery stores. The brand took the guess work out of how to prepare a quick and easy dinner and directed the shopper to the exact location in the store where he/she could pick up a particular product, say a package of rice. The in-app beacon campaign enables shoppers to receive grocery list reminders and loyalty points from the food and spice brand on their mobile phones.
4. In-Store Navigation: This is another great feature that makes it convenient for users to locate various aisles and specific products they wish to purchase. iBeacon technology makes it easier for retailers to enable in-store navigation within the store as it is capable of accurately locating the position of customers in store.
Multinational retailer Carrefour, that recently saw a 400 percent increase in mobile application engagement thanks to beacons, uses beacons for in-store navigation. The app helps users find each product on the customer’s shopping list and locate it across the store.
Mobile apps are still in their relative infancy, particularly when it comes to the retail sector. But looking at the advancement in mobile technology and the way customers are demanding enhanced in-app services, mobile apps will become the single most important touch point for engaging with consumers over the next few years. The trend is clear. Retail brands have to take advantage of the mobile app channel or risk losing consumer attention to competitive services.
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!