Brick-and-mortar businesses may be tempted to reduce their use of technology in an effort to differentiate themselves from e-commerce sites, which have seen a surge in popularity. However, beacons and other technologies can offer numerous advantages to brick-and-mortar stores.
By leveraging the data gathered through beacons, shop owners can better serve their customers by providing more tailored and proactive recommendations. This technology enables brick-and-mortar businesses to deliver a personalised, high-quality service similar to that offered by leading online retailers.
How Do Beacons Work?
In order to improve customer experience and build brand loyalty, retailers are increasingly investing in beacon technology to monitor their customers’ in-store behaviour and gather data for more tailored advertising and customer service. The initial investment in setting up a beacon system requires significant time, money and resources. However, it has the potential to bring about benefits such as increased customer satisfaction, increased revenues, more social media postings and word-of-mouth advertising.
What Role Do Beacons Play?
The systems utilise Bluetooth to connect with customers’ mobile applications, which can be generic or specifically designed for the marketplace. Furthermore, beacon trackers are employed to further enhance the analytics capabilities of the technology, allowing merchants to gain valuable insights from the collected data.
When customers approach the store’s vicinity, such as its parking lot, their device will be activated. They may then receive notifications regarding any in-store discounts. Once inside, customers will be informed of any discounts available on products they are interested in.
Beacon technology enables retailers to broadcast personalised promotions to shoppers within particular areas of the store. For example, a customer browsing video games in an electronics store may receive a notification regarding a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer on games if they make a purchase on that day. They may additionally be made aware of associated products, such as video game systems.
The timeliness of these updates is a major advantage. Rather than relying on customers to remember to take action at a predetermined time (e.g. a Fourth of July promotion), beacon-generated communications are more effective as they require immediate action.
Service During Your Visit to the Store
Sue, a new sales associate at a women’s clothes shop with a beacon system, can use her tablet to identify that Ellen, a client, has been browsing the party dresses, accessories and formal shoes section. This information, combined with the shop’s existing records for Ellen, allows Sue to present her with a selection of dresses in her size, as well as shoes and accessories that coordinate well with them.
This service promotes customer loyalty by consistently providing a service that meets customers’ expectations. Such a high level of customer satisfaction encourages customers to spread the word about the business, creating a strong reputation.
The average length of time consumers spend in a shop, the average number of visits per week or month, and the average amount spent can all be established using beacon technology for retail businesses. This data can be used to inform the creation of loyalty programs. For example, if a customer regularly visits the business twice per month, the management may decide to provide a discount on their third visit.
This data can be used to optimise existing loyalty programs or to create new ones. As previously mentioned, repeat customers may receive discounts or other incentives for their loyalty. Customers may be rewarded with exclusive offers and discounts if they reach certain spending limits within a set time frame, if they refer a specific number of friends, or if they purchase a particular item or type of merchandise.
Beacons offer an additional benefit for customers in terms of their payment readiness. Rather than having to queue at the checkouts, customers can take advantage of the shop’s payment kiosks, activated through their shop app and secured with a PIN for a simple and swift transaction.
As technology advances, more advanced versions of automated shops are becoming available. These stores no longer require customers to use payment methods such as credit cards or cheques, as they can be billed automatically as they leave the store with their purchases.
When It Comes to a Store’s Bottom Line, How Exactly Do Beacons Help?
The use of beacons in various applications offers a number of advantages. Cost-effective and highly adaptable, beacons enable businesses to tailor their communication with consumers to best meet their objectives. Furthermore, beacon technology is reliable, straightforward to implement and can be easily scaled up if the initial implementation proves successful. Customers can use beacons with almost any mobile device currently available.
Customers may initially be cautious when introducing a new piece of technology. Without customer participation, store owners are unable to optimise their use of Bluetooth or beacon monitoring. In certain deployments, beacons can be challenging to install and operate. Engaging professional installers is a beneficial measure to ensure that the system is installed correctly and provides owners and managers with the desired data and functionality.
To Try Beacons at This Time Is a Great Idea.
As the spread of COVID-19 slows down, many individuals who had previously avoided going out in public will return to their normal routines. Although this may bring a brief increase in foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, businesses need to find ways to surprise and delight their customers in order to ensure their loyalty. Beacons can be an excellent tool to achieve this, as they can help to deliver an even more enjoyable experience than before.