The Indusa Blog

Using Beacons to Improve Retail Sales

Posted by Indusa Admin on November 4, 2015 1:13 pm

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Imagine receiving a text message that welcomes you as you step into an Apple store, or looking at your phone for directions to your favorite product at Target, or receiving a reminder about the items you were checking out yesterday at Macy’s – beacon technology is changing the face of the retail industry. According to BI Intelligence, US in-store retail sales influenced by beacon triggered messages is set to increase from $4.1 billion in 2015 to $44.5 billion in 2016.

Using Beacons

By installing a hardware device called a beacon in malls and individual stores, retailers are using Bluetooth Low Energy technology for integrated apps that send relevant and personalized messages to shoppers on their smartphones to drive traffic and sales. From simple greetings to coupons and offers, retailers are increasingly trying to engage customers in a rewarding manner by communicating with them through custom apps and digital shopping lists.

Beacons are becoming a trend for everything from in-store analytics to proximity marketing, store navigation, and contactless payment. Let’s look at some ways in which beacons can help you augment your retail sales:

Enhance the Shopping Experience
Messages that meet and greet your customer at given destinations or inform them about events and store-related activities and promotions in real-time make it quicker and easier for customers to access information and products that they are looking for. It also provides capabilities to send special offers and discounts to loyal shoppers, thank your customers for visiting, and encourage them to share their shopping experience. With beacon technology, you can enhance the overall shopping experience and make it truly worthwhile for each of your customers. 

Remind Customers to Buy Items on Their Shopping List
While targeted marketing using geolocation isn’t a new concept, what makes beacon technology unique is the ability to re-engage customers. There is a high likelihood that customers make a shopping list on their phone, but forget to check it when they are physically at the retail outlet. With beacon technology, you can now send customers personalized messages and reminders to buy the items on their list and ensure customer satisfaction along with elevated sales.

Increase Likelihood of Purchases
While implementation of beacon technology is still in the nascent stages, it can help retailers struggling with declining sales and traffic. By sending relevant and timely messages to shoppers, you can increase the likelihood of purchases and prompt them to visit the store more often. Delivery of personalized messages and discount coupons add value to the overall shopping experience and ensures increased customer satisfaction.

Attain Insight into Customer Behavior
Beacon technology can help you get invaluable data and insight into your customers’ shopping habits and buying behavior. Track how customers behave in your store, keep tabs on how many times they visit a certain location, the departments they spend the most time in, the number of vouchers they redeem, and monitor purchases and conversions.

Keep Track of Staff Efficiency
With beacon technology, you can receive details on the activity of your in-store staff and keep track of staff efficiency. Monitor how often and how long your staff engages with customers, and send alerts to store members when specific tasks need to be carried out. Make improvements to the store layout by identifying store movement, sustaining service standards and operations that will benefit both the customer and you as a retailer. Additionally, you can track vendor activity, monitor deliveries, and confirm vendor compliance.

Send Product Related Information
You can also send product related details to your customers through an enabled smartphone app. Direct a personalized message to a customer with details of the clothes and accessories on a mannequin, the price of each product, where the items can be found in the store in addition to links to purchase the item directly from your website.

Build Strong Customer Relationships
Beacon technology ensures a delightful shopping experience for existing customers; you can recognize, reward, and understand loyal customers, allowing you to build stronger relationships. Additionally, you can also attract passers-by, by sending them store, promotional, and product related information.

Avoid Spamming the Customer
While messages delivered through beacon technology may result in increased likelihood of purchase and increased sales and customer satisfaction, messages should be relevant and significant are relevant and significant, according to research and consulting firm Altimeter Group. Send your customer a gift coupon while at the store but allow your customer to easily dismiss or ignore the message. Spamming customers with repeated messages could be disastrous so ensure that the right message is delivered at the right time and the right place.

Beacon technology can be transformational for retailers, but in order for the implementation to be a success, educating customers about the benefits associated is primary. Additionally, developing the right software application that communicates with beacons is critical to the success of the endeavor. By integrating beacon technology with popular third-party shopping apps like PayPal, you can get your message across to the customer and strengthen long-term relationships.

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Seema Nair
About the Author – Seema Nair

Seema is a Mobility Project Manager at Indusa and has around 8 years of experience in enterprise and consumer facing mobility solutions. Being a Subject Matter Expert in enterprise mobility, she assist clients in defining mobility strategies and implementing the right mobility solutions for their business.

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Contributing Writer: Neha Kumar