As more innovations are being made in the field of technology, possibilities in different fields are being increased. The case is same in retail sector also. Advanced technologies like AI chatbots, NFC etc. has started supporting retailers in many ways. So is the case of Beacons. Etailersouq earnestly presents few practical examples of beacons in retail.
What are Beacons?
Beacons are small, low energy devices that can be installed or positioned almost anywhere. Even a PC or mobile device can act as a beacon. The hardware part includes ARM Processors, Bluetooth Smart Module, time and location sensors etc. These devices transmit small data strings in radio frequency, which can be detected by any Bluetooth receiver, within a distance of 50 meters.
These wireless devices use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. It helps in providing more accurate location information with greater precision compared to GPS, NFC and Wifi. For beacons to work, smart phone devices should have specific applications installed in it. With this , all Bluetooth devices can interact with it.
iBeacon developed by Apple in 2013 and its google alternative Eddy stone which was introduced in 2015 are some common beacons.
How it works?
Imagine entering into a store to purchase an item and your smart phone shows a pop up message informing you about some offers provided by any brand for the stuff! With the introduction of beacons, this no more remain an imagination. To get this facility, customers don’t have to take much effort, but install specific app in their smart phones. This single app may deliver welcome greetings, discounts and special offers, product information, brand details or other alerts, once you step into the store.
How it help retailers? Few practical examples of beacons in retail.
This advent of technology has proved to assist retail industry in many ways. In fact, the introduction of beacons benefited retail industry the most.
Beacons act as most effective advertising tool. It can serve advertising messages straight to the user, once the user device enter into the range of beacon. These tailored messages improve the upsell as well as enhance the customer experience. Also, by helping to provide personalized experience, they help in improving customer satisfaction.
One of the main advantages of online stores over brick and mortar stores is that they have enough ways to collect customer details. Beacons facilitate brick and mortar stores to collect the customer details as well as their shopping behavior.
Beacons are actually a bridge between physical and digital retail stores. Since the beacon work via mobile apps, this offer potential for applications to increase user engagement. Beacon technology help to provide an interactive in-store experience to the customers. Thus it helps in improving customer satisfaction. These devices are economical as they are cheap to adopt. Beacon hardware is quite affordable.
Beacons have a huge impact as they offer real time messaging. In many ways, it helps in saving valuable time of the customers. As the targeted, timely messages change the way customer walk in the store, they reduce risk of in store purchasing. They act as a guide in finding right product in no time with best deals and offers. Beyond push notifications, beacons facilitate person-to-person communication, in-store navigation, in-channel analysis etc. it also help a retailer to recognize, reward and understand its best customers. It also helps in increasing loyalty and building stronger relationship with them. Keeping track of staff efficiency is also among its uses.
Despite its potential, perceived privacy is a hurdle of retailers . Studies suggest that customers are highly reluctant to being tracked in store, even if it improves customer experience. At the same time, beacon relevance and usability is important beyond privacy.
Beacons have the potential to revolutionize customer communication for brick and mortar retailers. Shoppers can enjoy more engaging, seamless and personalized experience. At the same time, retailers can gain insights to their consumers. According to Business Insider Intelligence Report, 4.5 million beacons are forecasted to be active in US by 2018. This statistics is enough to prove that this technology is going to be one of the most relevant parts of retailing.