New Year’s Retail Resolution: iBeacons


New Year’s Retail Resolution: iBeacons

New year, new store. It’s the perfect time to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and what to improve on this New Year. As retailers dream up ways to keep customers engaged in 2016, beacons should play a key role in your New Year’s resolution. When Apple debuted the iBeacon two years ago, it gave retailers a way to customize the in-store shopping experience. It’s time to utilize this technology to its fullest.

A survey of 1,000 consumers by mobile marketing company Swirl and independent marketing research firm ResearchNow found that 77% said they’d be okay with sharing their location information in exchange for something valuable like a mobile coupon or digital offer. Not only do beacons have the capability to send mobile coupons, the list of their abilities gets longer for 2016.

Drive store traffic. When a potential customer is window-shopping and comes within a few meters of the store, the shop’s beacon can “recognize” the customer’s phone and send a special offer via the store app to encourage the person to come inside to shop.
Enhance the entrance. Beacons make it possible to welcome each customer and relay current sales information. Customers feel personally greeted without even speaking to an associate.
Alert customers in aisles. Beacons ensure customers are never without the information they need. With beacons integrated into a store app, retailers can provide product information on nearby items, help customers locate items they’re looking for, and encourage customers to build shopping lists by scanning product barcodes.
Nail the point-of-sale. Retailers can reward shoppers at the point-of-sale for their loyalty by offering special deals on seasonal items (e.g., allergy medication in the spring, sunscreen in the summer), using beacons to draw attention to certain items as customers travel through the store. The shopping experience becomes much more rewarding when relevant items are on offer.
Plan an exit strategy. Customers like to know they are appreciated. Retailers can use beacons to send thank-you messages and/or coupons for use the next time customers come to the store. A customer who leaves happy is more likely to come back.

Beacons provide a unique, personalized customer experience to shoppers without being too intrusive. And the line between in-store and online shopping will continue to blur as retailers create a seamless experience across their platforms. The New Year is here, so plan your store upgrades accordingly.

As retailers dream up ways to keep customers engaged in 2016, beacons should play a key role in your New Year’s resolution.

Beacons provide a unique, personalized customer experience to shoppers without being too intrusive. And the line between in-store and online shopping will continue to blur as retailers create a seamless experience across their platforms.