Beacons in Retail: variants of application
Source - Nikki Ritmeijer
Stiff competition and e-commerce development make retailers look for new ways of attracting customers. Earlier, simple advertisements were used for this purpose, while now retail stores have to implement more advanced techniques and methods. iBeacon technology has become one such solution. Its application takes retailers and clients to a completely new level.
iBeacon: What is it about?
For the first time, iBeacon technology was introduced by Apple in 2013. The company offered users tiny Bluetooth beacons that could be installed in various places inside buildings and were capable of communicating with users’ mobile devices. Over time, iBeacon technology started to be widely used in many verticals, including retail. Now, it is used by shopping malls and supermarkets that want to attract visitors and offer them a unique user experience.
Beacons are installed in stores in pre-arranged places at certain intervals and transmit signals that are detected by special readers. Then, these signals are sent to the server for processing and, later, are delivered to users’ or employees’ phones in the form of relevant information. In order for the visitors to use the platform in full, their mobile phones should have the pre-installed application that helps to build routes, quickly search for points of interest, and receive location-based notifications.
iBeacon technology: Advantages
The implementation of iBeacon technology-based system a wide range of advantages to businesses:
- visitor movement analytics to monitor busy hours and determine most crowded areas;
- convenient navigation around the shopping area to increase customer loyalty;
- additional marketing channel;
- improved safety and security due to the reduction in the number of emergencies.
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According to statistics, information and advertisements enabled by Bluetooth beacons in retail significantly increase the willingness to purchase.
iBeacon technology: Possibilities for increasing store performance
Visitor movement analytics
After implementing the beacon technology in retail, marketers can monitor client movements and better understand their behavior. The system allows creating heat maps and flows maps thus getting a wide range of insights about:
- determine the number of visits per day;
- visit frequency;
- waiting time in queues;
- most visited places in the store;
- repeat visits.
Constant monitoring of visitor flow makes it possible to optimize products layout inside stores.
Sending targeted push notifications
After installing the mobile application, visitors get useful information that can motivate them to purchase more goods. For example, information about promo campaigns, discounts, sales, bonus offers. With the iBeacon technology system, it is easy to personalize local marketing campaigns and direct targeted advertisements to customers.
In case of necessity, it is possible to send information about products to clients, as well as direct notifications about personal offers. Taken together, this enhances customer loyalty, provides additional marketing channels, and increases profits. Bluetooth beacons-based marketing technology can encourage people to visit stores that they otherwise wouldn’t go to make purchases.
Navigation inside stores
The system improves customer loyalty thanks to convenient navigation around the stores. Using the mobile application, visitors can get the interactive map of the place and build the shortest routes to the required goods or departments. The platform provides step-by-step instructions on searching points of interest and helps to navigate towards them. Points of interest can be cafés, restaurants, shops, restrooms, technical rooms inside the shopping malls or product sections in stores.
Increasing efficiency of loyalty programs
According to statistics, about 2/3 of customers aged up to 35 use their smartphones to study brands while visiting shops. If a brand is aimed at young people, the implementation of the iBeacon technology couldn’t be more timely. It can help with sending the information about discounts and promo campaigns, as well as to increase the efficiency of loyalty programs that focused on mobile apps. Thus, users are getting useful content about goods, advice on how to get a discount by performing certain activities or unlock offers by registering on social networking sites.
Visitor flow management during Covid-19
In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing plays an important role in preventing the further spread of the disease. Using iBeacon technology, it is possible to ensure constant monitoring of visitors and sound management of visitor flows to avoid close contact. The system can inform about crowds, approaching a person, or close contact between customers.
The platform can execute geographical zoning and inform staff about crowding or entering prohibited areas. The system allows setting some specific characteristics, such as a safe distance, the duration of contact, the maximum number of visitors in the building.
Navigine specializes in developing navigation systems and solutions in retail using iBeacon technology. We provide our clients with modern and reliable tools for organizing efficient proximity marketing with the help of beacons to increase profits.
Vlad de Armas