Beacon technology is the newest tech craze that is disrupting the retail sector. This piece of hardware that uses Bluetooth technology has become the “beacon of hope” for retailers as an effective marketing tool to draw customers in and to create a more personalized shopping experience. According to Business Insider, nearly one third of the hundred top retail stores in the United States have incorporated beacon technology and this will increase to 85 percent in 2016. Target, a huge retail chain in the United States has planned a full role out with the use of beacon technology in 2016. Beacon technology is a way brick and mortar stores can draw customers back to traditional shopping by providing the same convenience and swiftness that online shopping provides.
What do beacons do?
So what does beacon technology actually do to entice the consumer. Well let’s say you walk into a store and your phone buzzes, it’s a welcome message from the store that has been delivered through an app that you downloaded but forgot about. The technology has been dubbed ‘transformational’ as it possesses the ability to wake up an app that customers could have forgotten to open. Once the app is awake it may; deliver messages about promotions or loyalty rewards, inform you where certain items are, and even summon store clerks to help you.
It could also allow you to order out of stock items to be delivered to your home. At JC penny, an overseas retail store, customers can take a snapshot of an item that someone else is wearing and quickly find out if the store has a similar item. Retailers are even putting beacon technology in their mannequins so that while you are admiring the outfit on the mannequin a message is delivered to you about what the mannequin is wearing and where the items are located in the shop. The checkout process has become speedy with beacon technology enabled contactless payment. Beacon technology allows retailers to engage on a personal level with customers requiring minimal effort from the customers’ side.
What are beacons:
When one pictures a beacon, it seems large and obtrusive but actually beacons can be as small as stickers that are placed around the store, the smaller they are the easier they are to use. Beacons work using Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology in order to locate the consumer, this being the key point in enticing the consumer as retailers can push messages to the consumer based on their location. Beacons emit a signal that is picked up by the users’ app on their smartphones. For instance, if a potential customer is walking past the store, beacon messages sent via the mobile app are used to draw them into the store. Once the client is drawn into the store, beacons pinpoint the exact location of the customer and based on the proximity of the customer, retailers can automatically push promotional messages or information about particular items to the customer. Beacon technology is affordable and relatively easy to install.
The Future of Beacon Technology:
Beacon technology will allow even the most disgruntled shopper to shop with ease. Retailers employing beacon technology possess the competitive edge over other retailers that don’t, as they are enhancing the whole shopping experience for the consumer. Beacon technology is the perfect combination of incorporating technology into a marketing scheme to target consumers and drive sales. In addition, retail stores that have employed beacon technology align their brand with the advancement in technology and are geared toward the growing trend of consumer use of the mobile phone. Consumers today opt for convenience and good customer service; beacon technology combines both. The use of beacon technology faces two challenges; encouraging consumers to embrace the technology, and drawing them towards traditional shopping again- as opposed to the ever popular online shopping experience. It is crucial that retail outlets implement beacon technology that performs optimally, as a faulty system could have the opposite effect and deter consumers from coming back.
Here at SovTech we think Beacon technology will be a hit and revolutionize not only the retail industry but other industries too. Contact one of our business developers to see where we can help at firstname.lastname@example.org.