In an attempt to distinguish themselves from the increasingly popular e-commerce sites, brick-and-mortar businesses may consider limiting their utilization of technology. However, incorporating technologies such as beacons can offer multiple advantages to these physical stores.
Using the data accumulated through beacons, shop owners can enhance their customer service by offering customised and proactive recommendations. By implementing this technology, brick-and-mortar establishments can provide a personalised, high-calibre service comparable to that of top-tier e-commerce platforms.
What is the Mechanism Behind Beacons?
In order to enhance customer experiences and establish brand loyalty, many retailers are now adopting beacon technology to track their customers’ behaviour in-store and collect data for more personalised advertising and customer service. While implementing a beacon system requires a substantial investment of time, money and resources, it has the potential to yield several benefits including heightened customer satisfaction, increased revenue, more social media engagement, and improved word-of-mouth advertising.
What is the Function of Beacons?
These systems employ Bluetooth to communicate with customers’ mobile applications, which can either be generic or tailored to the respective market. Moreover, beacon trackers are also utilised to augment the technology’s analytical capabilities, enabling retailers to derive valuable insights from the data collected.
When customers are within the store’s vicinity, for instance, in its parking lot, their device will be activated, and they may receive notifications about any in-store promotions. Upon entering the store, customers will be apprised of any deals on products they have shown interest in.
By utilising beacon technology, retailers can deliver tailored promotions to shoppers in specific sections of the store. Suppose a customer is perusing video games in an electronics store; in that case, they might receive a notification about a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal on games if they purchase them on that day. They may also be alerted to related products, such as video game systems.
The immediacy of these updates is a significant benefit. Rather than depending on customers to recall and take action at a specific time (e.g., a Fourth of July sale), communication generated by beacons is more effective as it necessitates prompt action.
Assistance During Your In-Store Visit
Sue, a new sales associate at a women’s clothing store equipped with beacon technology, can utilise her tablet to determine that her client Ellen has been looking at party dresses, accessories and formal shoes. With this information combined with the store’s existing records on Ellen, Sue can present her with a range of dresses suited to her size, in addition to shoes and accessories that complement her selection.
This service fosters customer loyalty by consistently delivering a service that meets their expectations. Such a high degree of customer satisfaction encourages customers to share their experience with others, contributing to the business’s positive reputation.
Tactics to Keep Customers Engaged
Beacon technology can assist retail businesses in determining the average duration customers spend on the premises, the average number of weekly or monthly visits, and the average amount spent. This information can be used to develop loyalty programmes. For instance, if a customer frequents the business twice a month, management might choose to offer them a discount on their third visit.
This data can be leveraged to enhance existing loyalty programmes or design new ones. As stated earlier, loyal customers may be granted discounts or other perks. Clients may receive exclusive offers and discounts if they surpass certain spending thresholds within a designated timeframe, make referrals to a certain number of friends, or purchase a particular item or merchandise category.
Beacons present an added advantage to customers in terms of their payment readiness. Rather than having to wait in line at the checkout counter, customers can opt for the shop’s payment kiosks, which are activated via their shop app and secured with a PIN, enabling a quick and easy transaction.
As technology continues to evolve, increasingly advanced iterations of automated shops are now obtainable. These stores no longer necessitate that customers use traditional payment methods like credit cards or cheques, as they can be automatically billed as they exit the store with their purchases.
How Do Beacons Contribute to a Store’s Bottom Line?
Beacons present several benefits across multiple applications. Cost-effective and highly flexible, beacons allow businesses to customise their communication with their customers to achieve their objectives. Additionally, beacon technology is dependable, easy to implement, and scalable if the initial implementation proves successful. Customers can use beacons with almost any available mobile device.
Challenges Associated with Beacons
Customers may feel apprehensive when it comes to adopting new technology. Without customer buy-in, store owners are unable to maximise their utilisation of Bluetooth or beacon surveillance. In some deployments, beacons can be difficult to set up and run. Engaging professional installers is a wise step to ensure that the system is correctly installed and provides owners and managers with the desired data and functionality.
Now Is the Ideal Time to Try Beacons
As the transmission of COVID-19 slows down, numerous individuals who had previously shied away from public spaces will revert to their usual routines. Although this will lead to a temporary surge in foot traffic to physical stores, businesses must discover ways to surprise and delight their customers to ensure their loyalty. In this regard, beacons can be an exceptional tool, as they can assist in providing an even more delightful experience than before.