Since their introduction in 2013, Beacons have been a part of the way companies can do business. A part of Apple technology (though Apple is not the only company to now have beacons), they were designed to help companies connect with their customer base; and, while the capabilities took business a bit of time to fully realize, today beacons are driving more than $40 billion in retail sales. Even if you are unfamiliar with beacons, this number alone may be enough to spark interest.
So, to simplify- a beacon is a location-based mobile customer communication that enables Apple devices to alert apps or websites to when someone approaches or leaves a location, thus allowing that business to send a timely message to that customer of product promos or to alert them of other useful information. Once the person is your place of business, the beacon can be pre-set with personalized offers, speed with the checkout process and many other actions the retailer may want to set. In addition, while Apple first introduced beacons, they are not the only game in town. Other companies with beacon technology are Google, Kontakt, BlueSense, Gelo, Estimote, Scentre Group and others.
When beacons were first introduced, they were about the circumference of a large apple. Today, they are small, unobtrusive stickers that can be placed on a wall. They use Bluetooth technology to pinpoint were customers are and deliver messages to them. However, the customer must have first added a particular location’s app to their mobile devices.
So, other notifying customers of sales and promotions, how can having a beacon benefit your business? Here are some other uses to consider.
- Indoor Navigation – Beacons are perfect for large facilities like airports where it can be difficult to navigate from one place to another. By having beacons placed in various locations, your clientele can easily find their way around.
- Easy Payments – Often times, people are in a hurry and having to wait in long lines to check out can be frustrating. In fact, they may even opt to just leave the item and go somewhere else to make their purchase. By having a beacon for your store, your customers can pre-order their items and head directly to the collection point to purchase their order.
- Customer Recognition – Your beacon app can be designed to alert you of customers who have your app and even to let you know their name. This way, you can great them by name and thus make your shop more personable.
- Minimize Waiting Time and Queuing – Your app can allow customers to place their order in advance and by the time they reach the door to enter the shop you can have their order ready. This is especially perfect for businesses in the food industry.
- Tracking – Your customers can easily track their packages, and know exactly when it will arrive.
- Opt In or Out – Your customers can choose whether or not they want to share their location, so they are in charge of how much information you have access to.
Beacon technology is a great way to boost your business and build better relationships with your clientele. It is simple, yet effective and helps make the shopping experience more pleasant for both the customer as you. If you have questions regarding beacons for your business, contact the Mobile Associates team and learn how we can help.