7 Actionable Steps to Use Beacon Technology to Improve Retail Sales

 

Does beacon technology sound familiar to you? How can you use beacon technology proximity marketing to grow your retail business?

What if I told you that in-store beacon technology is helping retailers like you to attract more customers and scale your business, would you jump in and start using it?

Of course, you should, why?

Because retailers who are using beacon technology can conveniently encounter buyer demands and build a solid customer in-store experience.

This incredible tool is your best bet as a retail store owner, considering recent research which indicates that retail store beacon marketing activities have a remarkable influence on customer decision.

For example, Swirl Networks Inc. revealed that 70% of shoppers admitted that beacon-triggered content and offers improved their chances to buy when in-store.

 

It also shows that 60% of shoppers would make more purchases because of receiving beacon-triggered marketing messages.

The study further points out that consumers are increasingly engaging with beacon marketing campaigns in stores, since 60% of buyers open and engage with beacon-triggered content.

Therefore, it makes sense to start using this proximity marketing tool–beacon technology retail in your business.

But you might wonder…

What is beacon technology?

Beacon technology is small electronic devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmitters to send notifications to smart devices on your area of proximity.

These little devices are the latest advancements of proximity marketing.

But to use this tool, the store’s app must be available and open on your smart device to receive signals.

Why use beacon technology?

In simple terms, beacon technology transmits information to smart devices near you to make location-based searching more precise.

It can  transmit the following reminders:

  • Promotions
  • Discounts
  • Giveaways
  • Special offers

Consumers receive these alerts when they’re in-store or at the proximity of the store.

As a result, by using beacon proximity marketing technology, retailers are able to understand any change in customer behavior.

To back this up, a report by Retail TouchPoints revealed that:

  • By using beacon proximity marketing technology, 70% of retail store owners were able to evaluate and understand shoppers buying behavior.
  • 53% of retailers using beacon technology felt they were able to produce more relevant and irresistible in-store offers for consumers.

In fact, Global Marketing Insights foretold that by 2024 the beacon technology market size will exceed $25 billion.

 

Furthermore, according to Google’s internal information, Android devices account for over 40 billion beacon-related content from Google services annually.

 

 

However, although Google recently stated that beginning December 16, 2018, Android users will no longer receive nearby notifications, it also noted that nearby notification is supported by Android 4.4 (KitKat) and latest versions.

Nevertheless, here is a better alternative to Google Nearby.

The beautiful aspect of Nearby Notification is that it helps shoppers streamline the buying process with their smartphones by identifying stock items, scanning items for reviews, and so forth.

Interestingly, it is reasonable to invest in proximity marketing technology to enable you to take your business to the next height.

How Do Beacons technology Work?

 

 

Each beacon technology device consists of three parts, including:

  1. A radio
  2. Batteries, and
  3. A central processing unit (CPU).

These devices work by frequently broadcasting an identifier that connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology.

Your mobile device connects the identifier and notes out vital areas around you. The identifier is a special identification (ID) number that is recognized by your mobile device.

When your device picks up the identifier, the retailer proximity marketing–beacon technology device will perform what it is programmed to do.

For instance, if you place beacons in or around your store, you can collect comprehensive data about your local consumer behavior.

The data you gathered will enable you to enhance your in-store customer experience with a strong marketing initiative.

Consequently, the 2017 Q1 report of proximity retail marketing shows that small business (SMB) retailers can boost marketing return on investment (ROI) by 365% and profits by 8%.

Examples of retailers who are using retail store beacon marketing campaigns to attract more customers.

Walmart

In partnership with General Electronics (GE), Walmart launched an extraordinary iBeacon technology test.

The retail store giant used GE light bulbs equipped with beacon technology to send alerts of discount coupons and special offers to in-store consumers.

Furthermore, the beacon-equipped light bulbs can evaluate customers within a store with the help of beacons concealed in them.

Amazon Go store

The US retail giant launched a new convenience store–Amazon Go store in January 2018. The Amazon Go store is a mini market filled with food and technology.

As of yet, Amazon team have deployed beacons proximity technology to streamline in-store customer experience.

Nonetheless, the entire store uses beacons to track commodities and improve buyer behavior. In favor of that, the result of Amazon Go store moved Walmart to renew its strategies as well.

Macy’s
A series of successful beacon trials in New York and San Francisco left Macy’s no choice but to expand its proximity marketing beacons program to all stores nationwide.

Hence, the retailer installed over 4,000 beacons technology devices in all its stores across the country.

This is part of Macy’s campaign to invest more in omnichannel retail technologies.

So then…

How are retailers using beacon technology in proximity marketing?

Here are 7 steps that will help you grow your retail business dramatically with this tool.

1: Learn how beacon work

First-things-first. As with any other business, you cannot jump into it without learning the basics to understand how it works.

Your being able to learn and understand will enable you to appreciate the power and benefits of proximity marketing beacon, and why retailers using beacon technology are all heads into it.

As mentioned earlier, the beacons technology communicate with smart mobile apps via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals.

This enables business owners to seamlessly transmit data to shoppers within range of a beacon via smart mobile devices.

The information communicated with shoppers would enhance their in-store experience.

2: Purchase beacons and a Beacon plan

If you do not already have a beacon plan, buy one and set up your proximity marketing app around your store.

There are plenty of beacon manufacturers in the marketplace to choose from. Some of the best-known manufacturers are:

These are some of the best choices in the market you can purchase and set up your in-store beacon technology app.

*Important* You cannot use beacon technology if you do not have a mobile app for your store.

You need a mobile application for your store that will connect with the beacon technology device for it to work.

After you create your store app, you will have to buy a beacon plan to set-up your in-store proximity application.

3: Ask consumers to download your mobile app

Now that you’ve successfully set-up your beacon technology retail in-store application, you have to let your customers know about it and ask them to download your app.

It will help you generate more sales because studies have shown that 80% of buyers used their smart devices inside physical stores to compare prices and so on.

 


The graphic above shows how shoppers use mobile devices in stores.

However, just as you do not expect all email signups and recipients to open your email newsletters, in a similar way, do not expect that every one of your customers would download your retail store mobile app.

As a result, if you already have a mobile application for your store, or if you want to build one, make sure it can perform all the functions on the graphic above.

That way, it would be easier for shoppers to download it.

What is more…

Another way to make people download your app is to promote it across marketing channels, including ads campaigns.

Use whatever means available to get customers to download your mobile app. The following strategies work pretty well:

  • Give free offers and sweepstakes
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Share a link to your app on social media

4: Optimize in-store communication to drive foot traffic

In every business venture, availability via communication is the top-level way to engage and retain customers.

Beacons offer you the possibility to make this happen, which will effectively boost foot traffic to your store.

Consider this…

If potential shoppers are passing by your store and with beacons set-up in and around your store, you can send push notifications to alert them of your offers.

Your offers could be anything from:

  • Discount items
  • Contest
  • Promotions
  • Etc.

The notifications will encourage them to stop by your store and check things out.

 

In fact, a recent study revealed that discounts and coupons are the primary reason customers would agree to push notifications and in-store tracking.

5: Improve in-store navigation

A reliable in-store navigation system is essential for pleasant customer experience.

If you have a huge store like Walmart stores, for example, one can possibly get lost while shopping.

I recall my trip to Dubai where I went shopping in a Mall but later realized that I couldn’t find my way back to where I came in. I ended up asking for assistance.

What does this mean for retail store owners?

You need to have an in-store map to enable buyers to navigate your store seamlessly.

So, some questions to consider are…

  • How convenient is your in-store navigation system?
  • What systems do you have in place to assist shoppers to navigate your store without any issues?
  • Do you have a store map in strategic areas within your store?

Consequently, as a retail store owner, build mobile applications with in-store map functionalities to assist buyers.

The map will show customers where to find what they are looking for–helping them to navigate your store without getting lost.

In view of this, proximity marketing beacons placed all over your store will signal buyers and indicate where to find items they are looking for.

6: Evaluate employee effectiveness

Do you necessarily have to do that? Yes, of course! Why? Because the best assets for your business are your employees.

They have the capability to dramatically grow or break your business efforts.

Therefore, it would be great to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your employees to make sure customer service is great.

Hence, use beacons to gauge employee efficiency by recording how employees engage with shoppers.

This will assist you to set up principles or policies that will boost customer service and increase sales and conversion.

7: Obtain customer feedback

Customer feedback is a remarkable tool that will aid you in your business ventures. It enables you to identify what consumers are happy with and what they want removing.

For example, If a product doesn’t meet customer expectations, their feedback will help you understand how to improve on the product.

Therefore, use the retail beacons to send out surveys to consumers when they want to exit your store.

Depending on their feedback, the information will assist you to create a phenomenal in-store customer experience (CX).

Wrapping up

Applying this new technology in your retail stores will improve customer relations and increase sales by customizing customer experience (CX).

This amazing tool has been around since 2013 when Apple launched the first product. But I call it “NEW” because many marketers and shop owners are not aware of it.

So in essence, it is new to them.

Therefore, use beacon technology proximity marketing in your retail store. Use the tips in this article to get you going, and find out other ways retailers are using this tool and follow along.

Tell us in the comments section what we missed.

iPhone 4s screen Stock Editorial Photography

 

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