In the never-ending struggle to build, maintain, and keep a customer base, retailers have begun adopting iBeacon innovation for use with Bluetooth low energy technology as a means of improving the customer in-store experience and, subsequently, boosting sales.
iBeacons are low power transmitters that can be deployed in stores to mark a smartphone’s location in a store and then activate an app that will direct a shopper to sales or to products and services that meet his or her unique profile.
This adapting of technology may provide the necessary jumpstart for sluggish onsite sales in retail locations. According to Schuyler Brown, the vice-president of marketing at Nomi, a beacon provider, “Brick-and-mortar businesses need to come up with much more compelling reasons for consumers to…actually show up to the store… And mobile apps powered by microlocation marketing, I think, is a key…”
Rachel Pasqua, MEC Global’s senior partner and mobile practice lead, seconds this view. According to her, “…Anything that will make shopping easier and more frictionless for people is going to win.”
And while tablets and other technological adaptations are relied on more because of their market longevity (relative) and tested performance, retailers who use omnichannel marketing will find that beacon technology can provide an additional edge as it can trigger apps that respond to time spent in certain departments, aisles traveled, and the impact of different offers and sales on purchases. When this information is collated and coordinated within the system, it will guide shoppers not only to what they are after, but will also allow retailers to make targeted upsell suggestions that have a greater chance of drawing a response.
The benefits will be realized, says Scott Dunlap, head of product at mobile commerce provider Branding Brand, because “…people can see the attribution of an in-store visit against all of their digital advertising. It’s going to put a lot of clarity on that and really help them…”
eMarketer. “Could Beacons Push People off the Couch and to the Store?”; July 25, 2014.