Innovative ways retailers are using beacon technology

Updated on Dec 15th, 2023

Beacon Technology

Imagine walking into a store carefully scanning the extensive range of dresses. Suddenly your phone beeps up, and the dress you’ve been eyeing on for a long online is available on discount on the store. Priceless, isn’t it?

Walking a little ahead, you want to find the collection of matching pair of shoes to go along with the dress. Rather than locating a sales clerk nearby, you launch the app on your smartphone and ask it to guide it.

Well, this is not a sci-fi story — instead, this for real. If you have walked in the store of Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, CVS, Lord and Taylor, Target, Timberland and some other, you must have already experienced this.

Thanks to beacon technology, retailers are now able to interact better with the customers and offer an extraordinary shopping experience. More than a million beacons are expected to be installed in the US retail stores (Source).

Here we are exploring 7 unusual ways retailers have been putting beacons to use.

What is beacon technology?

What is beacon technology?

Beacon or iBeacon is the name of Apple’s technology standard that allows mobile apps to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world and offer corresponding content. In essence, Beacon technology allows mobile apps to understand the position on the micro-local scale, and deliver hyper-contextual content to users based on location.

How are retailers using Beacon technology to enhance the customer’s shopping experience?

1. Tracking customer’s in-store movement

Beacons are incredible when it comes to offering customers a cohesive online and in-store experience. They can help you track customer’s in-store movement and deliver targetted information depending upon products they’ve been eyeing online. This directly calls for augmented conversion rates as the customer is more likely to grab the products they’ve been aiming to buy online.

A terrific example is Macy’s store. Once the user launches the mobile application, it aligns with the beacon to identify the area customer is in. For instance, of the customer is walking through the makeup area, the app is instantly going to offer him the discount on makeup brands they follow online.

2. Help customers to navigate through the stores

While large department stores are fantastic for you to showcase all that you offer, they can be pretty intimidating. Imagine walking into a customer who has been wandering for an hour in the store finally leaving because they couldn’t find what they were looking for.

Beacon technology can help you exceptionally to overcome this. You can offer your customers with in-store mapping experience that makes it easier for them to find items on your shopping list easily.

A remarkable example here has been showcased by Target that offers an intuitive “GPS for your shopping cart” via its mobile app. Users can use the app to create a shopping list. When they are finally in the store, the app will help them locate the items as they move through the store in real-time.

3. Offer sports fans with targetted discounts on food and merchandise

You are enjoying a great baseball match, and your phone lights up. The notification reads that there is a 50% discount on the baseball merchandise in one of the stores. You weren’t eyeing one but the discount is too good to handle, and you finally end up buying one for yourself.

In another instance, imagine sitting to enjoy a deadly baseball game. A hot dog vendor passes alongside. As he does, your smartphone beeps up to tell you that there is a 40% discount on the hot dogs. An irresistible deal makes you drool over, and you finally get one.

This is how MLB is using innovative Beacon technology. Users sitting in the stadiums receive alerts notifying them of discounts on stadium food and apparent, and even team information and video highlights.

4. Attract customers to in-store events

The holiday season calls for enticing discounts from every nook and corner of the retail industry. One of the stores might offer makeup tutorials as others provide free gift wrapping. While everyone tries their best to attract the customers, it becomes vital to stand out to beat your customers.

Beacon technology comes handy here too. You can check for nearby customers and alert them on the ongoing in-store events.

Customers are more likely to shop at your store’s event if they’re already nearby. And so you can play experiments with this strategy to bring in more conversions.

5. Improve in-store conversion rates

Finnish chain K-supermarket installed beacon over 55 locations that allow shoppers to create digital shopping lists, view recipes, and receive smart advertisements and promotions.  More than 25% of the shoppers who saw the targetted message bought the advertised product.

In-store alerts on various products help stores to enhance conversion rates amazingly. Moreover, the data collected hence help you offer target ads to your customers. For example, if a user has milk listed among the shopping list, you might want to display the ad asking if they need cereals too. Likewise, you can think of other combinations and increase the conversion rates with target marketing.

6. Use beacons to offer loyalty programs

Retail Dive in one of their studies found that two-thirds of the shoppers below 35 years research the required products on their smartphones even when in a store. Thus, beacon technology is an excellent add-on if your business mainly targets younger demographics.

With this, you can do more than just target marketing like Urban Outfitters. They use technology to create mobile-first loyalty programs. Once the user is in the store, a social media check-in encouraged by the app enables them to unlock a significant discount. Additionally, dressing rooms are enriched with user-generated content about the products. Similarly, shoppers can take and upload selfies with hashtag #UOonYou. Lucky shoppers are offered a chance to get featured on Urban’s website.

7. Alert in-store customers of discounts and coupons

More than half of the USA shoppers who never tried in-store tracking earlier agree than discounts and coupons makes them to opt-in for the same. Thus, if you are experimenting with beacon technology in your store, you might want to consider discounts and offers.

Walgreens, for instance, sends mobile coupons and promotions at its Duane Reade locations. Additionally, they use beacons to alert passerby’s of offers to draw people into their stores.

If you imagine beacon technology as the modern day advertisement, it makes sense to enable your beacon technology to reach people outside of your store, rather than just in-store.

Benefit your retail store with beacon technology

If you are still far from implementing a beacon-backed mobile app for your retail business, now is the time to make the most of the opportunity. Can think of an idea? How about connecting with us?

With more than twenty years of experience, Matellio’s skilled team addresses the most challenging IT problems with best-in-class solutions for clients across geographies. Our deep-rooted skills and knowledge base empower the enterprises to harness the potential of phenomenal custom applications across diverse industries including e-commerce, artificial intelligence, IoT, and machine learning besides many others. Following quality-oriented standards of methodology, we enable top-notch solutions encompassing an entire mobile ecosystem that helps global organizations to augment their growth through mobile application realm.

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