Best of Beacons this week: 70% of the fastest growing retailers see beacons as high value, and more
October 16, 2015
We are back with this week’s best of beacons round-up. In this feature, we cover some interesting topics from impressive beacon growth projections, to how beacons are changing the game in the mobile gaming industry.
IoT is drastically changing how companies do business today. According to the survey results from the study “Things in Retail: Great Expectations by Retail Systems Research (RSR)”, around 54% of winning retailers (defined as those with above average growth), believe that IoT will drastically change the way companies do business in the next three years. These retailers are also more aggressive about the opportunities they see around IoT applications than retailers with average growth.
The top five technologies considered to be of high value by winning retailers are as follows:
70% — Beacons for in-store customer communications
58% — RFID for supply chain inventory tracking
56% — Visual analytics for making sense out of IoT data
BattleKasters, a smartphone game made by Seattle software companyArtifact Technologies, brings together Bluetooth beacons and gaming. The game is based on Adams’ Norse mythology-based novel series, known as “Legends of Orkney.” At the Pax Prime gaming conference, BattleKasters app users searched for beacons installed around the facility so that they could use them to cast spells, unlock cards and set traps for other players. The game is the first beacon-based product offered by the company that focuses on location-based gaming using mobile phones.
Artifact in the past has used GPS for their games; however GPS-based data did not provide the precise location data that was needed. The company then began experimenting with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon technology and used it in iPhones and iPads. The CEO of Artifact believes that beacons have helped crystallize the gaming experience.
In the future, Artifact also plans to sell kits which would include a fixed number of beacons, as well as the app and content-management software—that would allow organizations, such as schools, cruise ships or communities, to set up their own BattleKasters or other games for individuals inside a building, campus or ship.
Many brands today use beacons only to push mobile coupons to users instead of providing real time utility. While couponing is one of the most popular use case for beacons, it is not the only one. Attempting to sell a beacon tactic that relies heavily on active customer participation (downloading a branded mobile app) just to send push notifications is under leveraging the capabilities of the technology.
The real strength of beacon technology lies in its real time analytics and tracking capabilities. Powerful beacon applications would passively track and collect information about your customers and then use that data to present something meaningful to them.
Both Facebook and Google are huge backers of beacons (and are enormous data collectors/aggregators). Brands can connect to both Facebook’s and Google’s future beacon-integrated platforms to target and deliver messages to their user bases, rather than building their own platforms.
Brands will also be able to engage with Facebook’s 500+ million users where they are, as they scroll through their newsfeed. They should focus on collecting the data from such beacon platforms to develop a strategy that adds relevance to the customers’ conversations and real time moments.
ABI Research forecasts that dedicated BLE beacon advertising networks will be worth over US $2 billion by 2020. The latest report, “BLE Beacon Advertising Networks,” considers the use of BLE beacons, audio/ultrasound and LED/VLC for advertising purposes across large third-party networks, Out of Home (OOH) and in-store brand advertising.
Many companies have already begun massive BLE beacon advertising networks in 2015; a host of startups are also using hybrid BLE beacon/audio technologies. In the long term, ABI Research believes that major internet players like Facebook, Baidu, Tencent and Google will have a major presence in this space with many already putting in place the ecosystem necessary to support their own advertising networks. Another major trend driving the growth will be major brands deploying their own advertising networks in-store in conjunction with retail partners. Major brands like Elle Magazine, Coca-Cola and Unilever have already ran campaigns using this approach.
Although IoT and beacons have been getting traction, the adoption level is still not significant. According to Retail TouchPoints, only 29% of retailers surveyed worldwide have deployed beacon technology. But, increasing this adoption is only a matter of time, as most retailers who have adopted beacons are satisfied with them according to eMarketer.
Around two-thirds of the retailers told that beacons let them track customers down to the aisle level.According to IDG Enterprises, a plurality (36 percent) of IT professionals in North America reported that they plan to hold investments in beacons steady over the next year.
While the holidays may still be a month away, the holiday shopping season is already well underway for millions of Americans. According to a recent survey by CreditCards.com over the Labor Day weekend, about 32 million Americans said that they had already begun their holiday shopping. Consumers today expect their favourite brands to deliver instant information and services, based on their contextual needs, across all channels of interaction (both offline and online). So what can retailers do to make sure they’re on top of the latest consumer holiday shopping trends? Fret not, we’ve got you covered. Read this post to discover key customer shopping trends and retailer tips for the upcoming holiday season.