Beacons are all set to revolutionize the retail industry. It has gained popularity, and the customers have started using their smartphones to shop while they are inside the retail stores. Beacons are considered to provide, both, digital and in-store shopping experiences, in order to bring value to the customers. Customers can get access to instant push notifications and sales’ information, in their smartphones, while they shop. This provides invaluable insights to the retailers and helps in mapping the customer’s shopping behavior.
The Rise of Beacons
Beacon technology has turned out to possess immense potential to, actually, enhance the shopping experience for the customers and it also, makes it quicker and more convenient for them to have accessibility to the exact information and products that they are looking for. Beacon helps in providing special deals, bonus offers or sale discounts to the loyal and frequent shoppers.
Beacon Technology also fetches information about the activity of the retail store staff. It allows them to make amendments and improvements in the store according to the information, thus received. This new technology aids in identifying the store flow and assists in maintaining the service standards. With such assistance, the operations, which are attained in retail, have been successful in benefiting both the customer and the retailer.
Is Beacon Technology the Future of Retail?
This particular technology has been immensely popular with the retailers. For a retailer, this has turned out to be a boon. According to 9to5mac, the iBeacons installed by provider inMarket in grocery stores have increased interactions with advertised products by 19 %. (Source: Vend Blog). The article also states that, the App usage was 16.5x greater for users who received a beacon message v/s those who did not.
And as per a recent study by InMarket, people who receive beacon offers and promotions are 19 times more likely to interact with the advertised product. (Source:CMO by Adobe)
Retail Insights – Some interesting facts and figures on how beacon is impacting the retail industry
- Half of the top 100 retailers in the US are testing Beacons this year.
- Over 40% of shoppers look for offers on their mobile device, while they’re in the store. And In 2016, 85% of top 100 US Retail Locations will be equipped with Beacons.
- By 2017, about 50% of in-store transactions will be completed through mobile devices.
- Timely in-store messages, sent to customers, can lead to 20x increase in purchase intent.
Reasons for the beacon growth in retail
There are several reasons why the beacon technology has proved to be so attractive and beneficial for retailers:
- Beacons help a retailer to recognize, understand and reward its most loyal and best customers. This has, eventually, helped in increasing loyalty and also, building a stronger relationship and strengthening the bond with them.
- Beacons can be used to track the number of times a customer visits a certain store and they provide an idea about the particular departments, where the consumer is interested in spending the most time. It helps to determine which displays are the most effective and Beacons, also, provides the number of promotions applied or vouchers redeemed, in order to monitor the conversions.
- The technology also has the ability and potential to let a retailer know when the most profitable online shoppers have logged in so that the store staff can recognize them and treat them accordingly.
Expected to Gain Momentum
Beacons could be used to take note of the workings of the staff and track their efficiency. They are used to monitor how often the instructions, given to the staff, are followed and for how long the staff is engaging with the customers to help in improving the customer service. ‘Staff training’ can be monitored and the ‘sales conversion rates’ can also be figured out with the help of the technology.
In addition to all these features, Beacons are able to send alerts and notifications to the staff when a particular task needs to be carried out. Using the Beacon Technology, the retailers are also able to track the various vendor activities, keep track of the deliveries and monitor them, ensuring complete vendor compliance.
The Beacon Marketing Opportunity
It is essential for the retailers to know which customers desire to use this technology, in order to make this implementation a big success. The potential success of the beacon technology can be achieved if the customers, voluntarily, download and install a smartphone app for it to work, third party or the brand’s own. There is so much potential of the beacon apps that, they and the customers, probably, will be eager to download the app for the preferred retailers. But, also, they might not intend to download an app for every retail store that they visit.
The New Technology Ushers in the Shopping Era
Though the introduction of the Beacon Technology has turned out to be a tremendous success, it poses various challenges. The retailers are guaranteed success if they are able to offer a genuinely beneficial service to the customers and provide a contextually relevant experience to them. Retailers obtain the benefit because of the enhanced customer engagement and they can, also, have a greater knowledge of the in-store footfall, customer preferences and the behavior of the staff.
The widespread popularity of the smartphones has paved the way for the Beacon Technology. The mobile devices play an essential role in the shopping experience and this means that the new technology is likely to gain prominence with each passing day.
By Nairita Goswami, RapidValue