10 Beacon-Powered Marketing Tactics To Attract Customers
Marketing via beacons is still relatively new, and there are a number of companies who have yet to implement the strategy into their mobile marketing strategy. This post is an attempt to highlight the points that make beacons reign supreme in mobile marketing.
If you think beacons are thriving at the hands of retailers, think again. It’s not just retailers who are beaconizing their stores: Beacons are seeing spectacular adoption, with 85% of retailers predicted to embrace the technology by the end of 2016. Many industry verticals are embracing beacon technology, thanks to its strong suit of features. These sectors include hotels, restaurants, airlines, theme parks, museums, and more.
But how can you make beacon technology work for you? Here are the top 10 beacon-powered marketing tactics that drive adoption among mobile marketers.
#1. Easy in-store navigation
I love strolling around supermarkets. Aren’t they a visual treat? But then again, I hate those infinite criss-cross pathways that you encounter every now and then. Sadly, such confusing pathways have become the signature style of supermarkets these days.
Step in beacon’s incredible in-store navigation feature. The revolutionary technology is so well-configured that it helps customers navigate the store easily, without hiccups.
Take, for instance, the European retail giant Carrefour. The Carrefour Group has 10,100 stores in 34 countries. 28 of its hypermarkets in Romania have implemented beacon technology with the objective of helping customers with a) in-store navigation, and b) info about products, pricing, and promotion.
Carrefour has also introduced special shopping carts with Samsung tablets tucked into their handles. The tablets contain Carrefour’s app combined with store map to help shoppers calculate the routes and paths while strolling around the store for purchases.
To make things easier for the customers, the company even employs a host to stand at store entrances to walk customers through the functioning of Carrefour’s beacon-powered application. From the activation part of Carrefour’s app, to narrowing down the departments from a pre-defined list, to getting the shopping list ready to deciding on the inventory of aisles, the host gives you a complete orientation right at the entrance.
#2. Tactical in-store communication
have taken push notifications a step further via their in-store communication feature. For instance, the moment you walk into your favorite store, let’s say a Target store, you would receive push notification alerts, informing you about available discounts, promotions, and coupons through an app.
Sometimes the notifications are based on online reviews and the Pinterest popularity of the items. Keeping with Target as the example, Target’s app has been configured to send you personalized push notifications by taking into account your online browsing history.
What’s more, just like Carrefour, the Target app helps customers with in-store navigation. The in-store map guides shoppers to find the next item in their in-app shopping list. And, in case this doesn’t help, the app could also be used to summon a Target employee to help the concerned customer.
#3. Strategic inventory management
Picture this: You enter a mall, excited to buy a t-shirt from your favorite brand. But the moment you enter the department of your choice, boom… another customer just grabbed the last one, right in front of your eyes. And you can’t do anything.
With beacon technology, such customer disappointments are completely avoidable, courtesy of using them for inventory management.
This feature not only offers alerts on stock-outs, but also on excessive inventory at hand. This ensures that your inventory management issues are managed well within the time.
Jewelry store Alex and Ani recently deployed beacons to not only retain customers, but also to encourage them to buy more. One example is that their store changes the positioning of in-store items in accordance with the occasion.Based on data, the company can immediately start realigning its product placement in such a way that it becomes easier for shoppers to pick up jewelry of their choice.
What does this lead to? No more lost sales and lost customers because they ran out of stock on the showroom floor, and decreased storage expenses because of excessive inventory.
#4. Quick, contextual shopping
Familiarity breeds closeness. The more you frequent a store, the more attention you get from the store attendants. And, presumably, the store attendants may go out of their way provide you with tailor-made shopping for a contextual shopping experience.
Beacons, with their in-store recording feature, can be considered the best bet for offering contextual shopping experience to customers. They help businesses gather customer data, which they can then consolidate to offer a contextual shopping experience to loyal customers based on their previous shopping behavior.
You could even offer loyalty points to customers just for stepping into the store, courtesy of beacon technology.
#5. Optimizing communication to drive in-store traffic
Communication is the key to customer engagement and retention, whether it’s in-store or through another medium. Beacons open up a new ability to drive foot traffic into your store that hasn’t existed before.
If a customer is passing by your store, but shows no inclination of entering the store, you can send them a push notification alert stating that there are some awesome discounts going on in several selected brands of their choice to encourage them to drop by. And, bingo!
For example, U.K. based retailer ‘House of Fraser’ installed beacons not just inside the store, but outside as well. The one that’s placed outside happens to beam promotional information to people as they pass by.
According to beacon experts, the technology could even be positioned at bus stops, street advertisements, and subway stations to direct customers toward a shop even before they approach it.
#6. Measuring employee effectiveness
Your employees are your best assets. They can make or break your business prospects. So, measuring staff efficiency goes a long way in ensuring a loyal customer base.
Beacons can be deployed for measuring staff efficiency by recording how long and how often your staff engages with the customers. The data so gathered can be used to set new norms and policies in regard to customer service and sales conversions.
Further, beacons keep staff updated on inventory levels, as in which items need restocking, which helps increase effectiveness and time.
#7. Uncomplicated payment processing
Beacons can give customers a permanent break from cash and card and even long queues, thanks to contactless payment solutions like PayPal and Apple Pay embracing beacon technology. This would pave the way for a grab-n-go solution negating the need for a physical payment location.
#8. Easy product tagging
In this scenario, your friend is interested in purchasing a particular item over and over again from the same store, but seems to forget the exact location of the item. No problem! Just tag the location of that specific product, or save the location and then send it to your friend through the app that’s beacon powered. That way, they can find the product easily and be in and out of the store in no time.
#9. Customer retargeting
Going forward, beacons will likely be used less for push notifications and more for collecting consumer data for future use. Major retailers, like Target and Macy’s, are already leveraging beacons to enhance their in-store experience, while others, like Coca-Cola, plan to deploy it soon for retargeting.
Coca-Cola recently harnessed the power of beacons to collect data about movie-goers in Norway. In May and June of 2015, the company offered free Coke to cinema-goers who had Norwegian publisher VG’s app on their phone as they went around the CAPA cinema foyers. The result: About a quarter (24%) of people with the VG app clicked on the offer, of which 50% collected the free coke at the cinema.
The data gathered was then stored on a media platform called Glimr to be used at a later date for retargeting. For this retargeting campaign, the company offered free cinema tickets. This time, about 60% of the people who were at the cinema clicked on the retargeting ad.
10. Acquiring customer feedback
Care for customer feedback? Of course, you do!
Leverage your beacon-powered app to send a quick survey to customers when they are on the verge of exiting your store. If the feedback is positive, you can use it to help spread the customer love to your store. If negative, you you now have the insights you need to improve your customers’ in-store experience.
Wrapping it up
Beacon-powered apps are changing how we purchase goods and services, and will pay a big role in what lies ahead in 2016.
Do you have additional thoughts on beacon technology? Leave your comments below.
About the Author:
Jini Maxin works for OpenXcell Technolabs, where apps are being manufactured and marketed in million numbers. She’s busy reading, writing, and chatting about apps day in and day out. For her latest blog posts and more, follow her on Twitter @jinimaxin.