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How Beacon Technology Is Transforming The Retail Shopping Experience?

How-Beacon-Technology-Is-Transforming -The -Retail -Shopping-Experience?

You ever get into a store and receive an instant notification on your mobile regarding their offers and deals? Ever wondered how or why? 

Let me first get to the how part! And the answer is Beacon Technology. 

The retail store uses a small device called Beacon, which transmits a low energy Bluetooth signal that contains a message or information that retailers want to convey to their customers. This way, retailers can target people based on their shopping preferences and frequency.

What Is A Beacon?

Beacon is a transmitter that transmits the same message over and over to all nearby receivers. 

In 2013 Apple introduced this technology to the mobile platform, and since then, it has made quite an impact on the retail business. You can see beacons in most of the big retail shops or malls. It works by sending a low energy Bluetooth signal called BLE to the nearby devices. This signal is one-way, meaning receivers can’t reply to the message. 

How It Works?

Beacon is a device consisting of a Bluetooth transmitter and a battery. It works by continuously transmitting low Bluetooth energy waves. These low energy waves could be a message or a unique ID that will be sent to the receiver. The receiver will then convert this message or ID and show it to the users. The receiver here will be a device that supports Bluetooth. It can be a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop, or even a wearable. 

Too Technical?

Let me explain it to you in simpler terms. Suppose you went to a store and you have a bluetooth enabled mobile device (a phone, or a watch). Then this mobile device of yours will capture the signals sent by a beacon as soon as you are in the close range of it. This signal contains a message, and it could be an offer or an advertisement, depending on the company. 

That’s how a beacon tech works!

Why Are The Retailers Using It?

In this ever-changing digital world, covering both online and offline marketing aspects is imperative. As, nothing is too much when it comes to marketing your product.

Marketing products digitally is done by promoting them online on different sites. Generally, most people prefer social media platforms as it has a large number of users, and by using it, retailers can target people more easily. Due to such a vast amount of users, it has always been the first choice of the retailers. 

Marketing on social media is done in many ways, out of which, most preferable one is the video advertisement. Making a video advertisement for your product and publishing it on social media. This way, you reach more people in a single given time. There are many tools available in the market like PowerAdSpy, Anstrex, PayPerTrail, to help you make better videos, videos that are geo-targeted, and according to your niche.

Now, coming to the offline marketing. Offline marketing includes banners, fliers, billboards, etc. which retailers use to advertise their products or business. These banners or fliers are handed over to people in person when they visit the store or by any other means. 

But advertising and handing coupon this way is not enough, as only a handful reads the fliers these days. You have to be more innovative with your marketing. So, how do you do that?

In this technological era, what a better way to market your products than using the latest gadgets. Retailers have been using beacons for the past 2-3 years, and it has increased their revenues substantially. Simply putting this little device across your store may benefit you a lot more; than those fliers. As these beacons, informs consumers about the new and exciting offers as soon as they enter the store.

How Is Beacon Technology Transforming Your Retail Shopping Experience?

Beacon technology is slowly creeping into our lives, transforming our shopping experience in a way that we don’t even recognize. Here are the facts to state that – 

  1. Analysing Data 

With the help of beacons, retailers are also tracking people’s way of shopping. They are tracking people with the help of beacons and using this data to analyze one’s shopping pattern. Using this data, retailers are now targeting people with ads which are specific to their shopping pattern. 

For instance, a person likes to shop on weekends. So, they will be going to the store on weekends and shopping for clothes according to their preferences. Now, the beacon will track the device they are carrying across the store, recording everywhere they went and what they bought. Using this data, the retailers will now send them a personalized message regarding weekend sales and offers. 

This way, the ads are more targeted towards consumers, and they are more likely to return to the store. 

  1. In-Store Automation

Beacons can also track when a person is in the store; doing so, retailers can show advertisements to that person according to his/her shopping preferences. They only need to track the identity of the person. 

This will help paint a better picture in your brains. Have you seen the sci-fi film called Minority Report? Yes? 

In this movie, you’ll see Tom Cruise entering a store, and an iris scanner instantly scans his eyes. Then the lady on the screen starts asking him what he wants by stating his name and what he last bought from this store. Well, this is not as high tech as the film, but it works on a similar principle. 

As soon as you enter a store, a beacon registers your presence by sending a signal to your device. And as the store recognizes your identity, it then sends you a notification about offers on the products you generally or last bought. This automation is carried further today by showing you these offers right on the screens that are placed inside the store as soon as you are near them.

  1. Better User Engagement

Beacons are also helpful in providing better user engagement by delivering useful information to a consumer at the right time. By doing so, a consumer is more likely to make a purchase.

Suppose you are in the electronics aisle in a retail shop. You are looking to buy a set of earphones, and at that time, you get a notification on your device saying ‘10%-20% off on all electronics items’. What do you do?

Yes, you buy the item. These timely notifications help increase customer engagement substantially. As people are more likely to make a purchase, if they know, you are offering a discount.

  1. Advertisement

As I said before, in this technological era, you have to geek out on your advertisement. You have to use the latest technologies to lure the customers in buying your products. Therefore, retailers are now targeting people with personalized ads that are tailored to their shopping preferences. They are doing so by sending you a personalized ad with the help of beacon as soon as you enter the store. 

This way, they are telling people about their current offers and deals. They are also targeting people who are in very close proximity to their stores. 

Summing It Up!

There you have it, four key factors with the help of which beacons are transforming our retail shopping experience. Beacon technology is a tool to enhance the user shopping experience. It is not a tool for spamming the user’s notification with ads or coupons. 

That will be all from me. If there is anything that you think I should add, please mention it in the comment section below. 

Renowned performance marketer, user acquisition expert, and a product fanatic from Bangalore. He is a prominent speaker in masterminds and events in the performance marketing space. Sumit is the Founder of Socioboard, which owns products like PowerAdSpy, Socinator, Gramboard, DominatorHouse, and mobile apps in social media automation space which have millions of users.


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