Posted by Chiara Nanni | 7 comments

Beacons: the new tool for engaging mobile customers

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A quick look, just taking a peak, and they’re off empty-handed.

If you are a business owner, you know what we are talking about: customers who visit your store, look around and leave without making a purchase. Or worse, leave without being tempted by offers or promotions. While that may be on them, it is also a good occasion to ask yourself if you’re making the most out of what’s out there technology-wise, to give your business that extra push towards (a greater) success.

The reason why some of those customers leave your store is likely because they failed to find what they were looking for – but what if the product found them instead? That’s where beacons come into the picture. Or better yet, onto your customers’ smartphone screens.

WHAT

A beacon is a low-cost piece of hardware, a device small enough to attach to a wall or counter top, that uses battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet with pinpoint accuracy. All you have to do is purchase a beacon device (or several) and then set it up to send out messages to customers who have downloaded your app, when they enter your premises.

WHY

Beacons rely on one of the simplest and less-costly technologies out there: Bluetooth. All messages sent are extremely time and place appropriate, and allow customers to be informed about what goes on in the store and that they might be interested in, without even asking for it. Furthermore, beacons can be integrated with other promotion tools (like social generated content or loyalty programs) in order to boost your mobile marketing campaign.

WHO

Beacons where created with the aim to transform how retailers, event organizers, transit systems, enterprises, and also educational institutions communicate with people indoors, by reaching out to them on their mobile device via dedicated messages. It is a very versatile tool completely adjustable and customizable.

WHERE

Once you’ve purchased and set up your beacon device(s), all you have to do is keep them inside your store/business – pretty much like a lighthouse illuminating the surroundings at a certain radius. From that base point, the beacon will send messages out to the distance you’ve decided, and every customer present inside the radius with an active Bluetooth connection, will receive it on its phone.

WHEN

This is the fun part: anytime you want! You can set your beacon messages to be sent out exactly when you think is appropriate and for as long as you wish. Use them to promote a special offer in-store, signal an ‘end of season sale’ or a new product that just arrived.

Many thriving business of all sizes have already embraced the beacon technology, integrating it within their marketing strategy to capture new customers in new ways. For example, Apparel brand Levi Strauss and Co.’s LIVE IN LEVI’s brand reintroduction campaign uses iBeacon-enabled billboards to prompt customers with an offer and to drive them into nearby stores! But let’s go bigger: The US National Football League tested beacons during this year’s Super Bowl, and 20 baseball stadiums will be adding them this year: 

“The GSW (Golden State Warriors) saw a 69% increase in seat upgrade revenue via app after installing our proximity marketing solution” said Alex Bell, co-founder of Sonic Notify, the Warriors’ proximity-technology partner.

 

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7 thoughts on “Beacons: the new tool for engaging mobile customers

  1. Is there a specific type of beacon brand (ie. Estimote), style, or size/proximity reach you recommend? Thanks.

    1. Hi Brett,
      as far as brands go there’s a lot you can choose from. Here‘s an interesting comparison between beacon brands you can take a look at.
      Speaking of size and proximity reach, keep in mind that beacon messaging can be enabled for customers who have opted-in your App, because they like (or are curious about) your brand and your products or services.
      If you have a store and customers walk in it’s probably because they’re looking for something, so beacon messaging can make that easier for them and maybe even tickle their wallet beyond what they had planned. If your beacon reach goes a little beyond your business premises, it can attract back old customers or those who don’t come in often, thanks to special deals and offers that appear directly on their smartphones.

    1. Hi Tomas,

      no you will not need additional software to set up your beacons. All you have to do to activate them is fill in the required fields with the information requested that will be supplied with your beacon device. For extra info on how to do it check out our Helpdesk post here.

  2. Great post! Totally agree with the bit about beacons being the ‘ultimate tool for customer engagement’. Having largely been touted as a ‘retail’ only opportunity, the scope of beacons is huge for verticals such as museums, hotels, stadiums, malls and events. One of the most significant benefits of using beacons is that they can help enhance customer engagement like no other technology has, in recent years. A good summary of how beacons can be used to enhance customer engagement: http://bit.ly/1Do7zCp

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