7 Innovative Ways Retailers Are Using Beacon Technology
Imagine this — you walk into a store and peruse the shoe display, and suddenly your phone pings. The same red heels you’ve been eying online are now on sale, 20% off, just for you.
Shortly after, you need help finding the Nike backpack you saw online. Rather than searching throughout the store for a sales clerk, you log into your app and ask the app to send you someone.
None of this is as sci-fi or futuristic as it sounds. In fact, the technology is already here. Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, CVS, Lord & Taylor, Target, Timberland, and many other major retailers already use beacon technology to take their shopping experiences to the next level.
With the help of beacon technology, retailers are better able to meet customer needs and create a more cohesive online-to-in-store experience.
If you doubt beacon technology’s power, you shouldn’t — Swirl Networks Inc. found over 70% of shoppers say beacon-triggered content and offers increased their likelihood to purchase in-store.
Here, we’re going to explore seven innovative ways retailers are using beacon technology, so you can decide the best strategy for your brand.
What is beacon technology?
Beacon technology, first introduced by Apple in 2013, are small Bluetooth devices that can send alerts to smartphones based on location proximity. The one caveat — the store’s app must be open on a customer’s smartphone to receive the store’s beacon alerts. Beacon technology can be used to send discounts, promotions, upcoming events, or other reminders to customers when they’re in-store.
1. Track customers in-store movement.
Beacon technology is an incredibly effective way to create a cohesive online and in-store experience. By tracking a customer’s in-store movement, you’re able to deliver targeted information and discounts depending on which products she’s perusing. This can lead to higher conversion rates — for instance, a customer is more likely to use a discount for purses when she’s in the bag section than when she’s checking out the workout apparel.
Macy’s has been using beacons nationwide since 2014. When a customer opens the Macy’s app in-store, the app recognizes which area of the store the customer is in. If the customer is in the makeup area, the app will remind the customer of makeup brands she already liked online. This targeted information can help persuade the customer to make a purchase.
2. Help customers find their way around the store.
Oftentimes, large department stores can be overwhelming. After a while of aimless searching, you might hear a customer say, “I can’t find what I’m looking for. Forget it, let’s just leave.” Fortunately, beacon technology can help combat this problem by offering an indoor mapping experience that makes it easier for customers to find items on their shopping list.
For instance, Target uses beacon technology to create a “GPS for your shopping cart”. Essentially, in-store customers are able to use Target’s app to create shopping lists, and then see where items are located in-store as …read more
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