Beacon technology has experienced a sudden change and acceptance across the diverse domain. Starting From retail to the travel industry. It’s very well said that beacon technology has opened the world of opportunities for travel brands over the past few years! Moreover, we all know how mobile devices have made it easy to connect to people at any time and anywhere we want. And Beacons have taken a step further by reaching more brands and consumers. Now we can see the travel and hospitality industry is in the middle of the tremendous technological transition. Since beacons are connected to IoT (Internet of things) and have provided an opportunity for businesses to offer more targeted and location-based services to the users, as declared by Forbes, 2016 was the year of the Beacon. And still, if you are not aware of the technology, consider it is implementing into your business. This guide contains everything you need to know about it.
Let’s know more about beacons:
What are Beacons?
Beacons have added significant value to tourism. As a beacon has offered companies some exciting and unique ways to engage with the customers. And experts have agreed that the beacon technology has gained the momentum in travel and tourism in recent years. Beacons basically connect the brands with the consumers at a particular sales location, and this automatically increases companies rate of response. iBeacons are indeed straightforwardly cost-effective and easy to deploy, as they primarily include CPU, radio and batteries. And the device either use lithium chip batteries or run via any connected power like USB plugs. A Bluetooth equipped device like a smartphone, can “track” a beacon, once it’s in a range, just like a sailor looking for a light-house to know their position. Beacons act as a part of outdoor as well as indoor positioning system and Internet of things, transmitting a continuous radio signal and are a small Bluetooth radio transmitter which uses the proximity of technology that can detect the human presence at the nearby location. So basically we can say the beacons are the devices which provide the information and the navigation to the smartphone users. On top of it, beacons are a new and exciting way to engage consumers, more in a non-intrusive way. So, as a result, many established travel and hospitality companies are leveraging technology and reaping the benefits.
How do Beacons work?
A small wireless battery-powered device is installed throughout a location and detects the signal by nearby smart devices via Bluetooth and lets your device known by displaying its ID number. That means, whenever a user or a person walks by an area where an ibeacon with an IoT network is set up, the user gets the notification quickly. Or in simple words, we can say, a beacon is a small wireless transmitter, use Bluetooth technology to send signals to the nearby smart devices.
You, in general, need three things, to make a beacon technology work,
- There should be a one beacon device
- Mobile app
- User’s permission
A beacon is an incredibly simple device, and the technology often contains SDK i,e, software development kit, back end management tools as well as a beacon device. Additionally, you’d need a software engineer to set up your positioning system. If any of you doesn’t know much about it, then let us tell you, every beacon contains ID numbers and letters, which is broadcasted by a Bluetooth several times in a day. All the beacons are BLE that stands for Bluetooth low energy beacons. The tiny device would seek the permission of the users, and at last, your users will decide whether they would receive the beacon-based notification and use your positioning system. This simple technology would only work with a smartphone and a mobile app. Let’s assume if a user doesn’t want to use the ibeacon technology, then they can opt for turn off Bluetooth as well, moreover, as we have noticed several people who use their smartphone without keeping Bluetooth on all the time. The low energy enables these beacons to be used for a more extended period, that time could turn in years as well that too without changing the batteries. The Bluetooth-based beacon technology provides full customer experience, as it offers its customers a choice to opt.
Application of Bluetooth Beacons in Travel and Hospitality
Since these beacons are working at the hyper-local level, this is what makes them a perfect fit for the travel and tourism industry. And smartphones are omnipresent, which makes beacons an ideal propeller for change. Emerged as a powerful advertising tool, is able to communicate with the customers in a more personalized way, and benefited the market. By tracking guest preferences, the hotels can now offer personalized as well as the intimate guest experience.
1. Improving Travelers Experience at Airports
iBeacons have proven to be a boon for the aviation industry by providing a smooth transition. The particular sector has improved their connections and engagement with the customer by gate updates, flight notification, airport navigation collection of Babbage as well, within the airport domain. The customer receives all the vital information on their smart devices. The beacons, deployed at the airport are useful to update guests about the gate change. Additionally, the indoor navigation feature helps them, in providing access to the map and guides them towards the right location of the gate.
2. Beacons In Hotels and Hospitality Industry
By providing highly personalized and intelligent services, that too without any addition in the cost and training any new staff member, ibeacons have produced the hotels with a new way to connect and engage to their guests personally. Right from greeting the guests while entering the property, till the time they check out, they receive notifications about all the amenities available at the hotel, that also includes routes and navigations throughout the hotel with the by indoor map feature. Apart from this, the guests also receive the notification on the special offers on rooms and food. Some of the hotels are providing the personalised experience, by enabling the guests to unlock their rooms by the digital key on the smartphones, so in this way, they are maintaining a strong relationship with their guests.
3. Discover Tourists Attractions
The role of a beacon in flourishing the travel and tourism industry is not just limited to providing services at the airport and hotels. Still, this help discovers popular tourists attractions as well. The tourists get the alerts and notifications about the transportation schedules, history of the place, restaurants, amusement parks, etc. at the appropriate time during the day. So, in short, beacons offer valuable information on a particular city.
4. Promotion Of The Supplementary Sales
The supplementary sales are the ancillary sales and are a great source of revenue specifically for the aviation industry. Beacons are making the supplementary sales in the aviation industry and acting as a helping hand by providing, up to the mark services to the target customers. Since the apps are already installed on the mobile devices of the customer, users can easily access all the vital information at the terminal. For instance, if they want to know about the lounge area, or long haul plans as well, or they can access the information of the flights, whenever they come close to the proximity of the terminal.
5. Share Personalised Offers to Boost Sales
The tour and travel sector always plan on offering something or the other for instance, discounts and special offers to grab the attention of their customers. Moreover, we all aware of the fact that customers would get attracted to any deal or offers which they find beneficial and saving them some amount of money. The travel agents find out about the preferences of the users, their current data and send personalized offers and notifications to the users via iBeacon and that’s how they win over the trust and attention of their customers.
The Future of Beacon
From travel and tourism to retail outlets, the beacons are revolutionizing every aspect. And apart from the current personalised services, the beacons have a bright future, as it has augmented the experiences of tourists, and they would be able to explore more limitless possibilities of beacon technology. Additionally, the businesses who are planning to deliver outstanding services to their customers can use the feature-rich beacon technology to scale up simply. Get in touch with our experts at Matellio, to deploy beacon technology!! Get started. Now!