With the rise of e-commerce websites in today’s world as customers can buy from the comfort of their homes or while on the go, a major challenge lies ahead for brick and mortar stores.
In this case, beacons can be the savior of brick and mortar stores wherein retailers can push location-based or proximity-based notifications to the subscribed customers to attract them with current offers. Moreover, beacons can also be useful in providing an enhanced customer experience by understanding the digital body language of the consumer and providing context-based, personalized in-app recommendations and in-store services.
2015 was termed as ‘the year of the mobile beacon’ by Forbes. The trend is only going to rise in 2016. Not only retail but beacons can be used in restaurants, museums, and even in public transit to collect consumers’ analytics and provide better customer experiences.
Need for beacon-based marketing
In spite of so many benefits of beacon-based marketing, many retailers are still wary of adopting them due to concerns over cost-benefit analysis and feasibility. To clear the air, we tell you whether you even need to consider beacons for your business.
Beacons are data treasure houses:
The greatest value of beacons comes from the data they provide. Thanks to beacon-based marketing, today most major retailers now know about their customers’ shopping behaviors, their tastes, and their frequency and spending capacity of buying particular things.
Thus from a business point of view, beacons collect large amounts to improve both real-time and right-time marketing, in-store and online.
Beacons improve customer experiences:
All this data, when combined together, can be instrumental for retailers in shooting personalized, targeted, and timely messages for offers and notifications to the customers. Also, thanks to the proximity-marketing capability of beacons, retailers can know which section in-store is spent the most time in by the customers. Thus, appropriate offers can be sent to the buyers there and then.
Thus from the marketing point of view, beacons provide relevant and interactive in-store shopping experiences to the customers.
5 steps to the effective beacon-based marketing program
Undoubtedly, the value of beacons as data providers and customer-experience enhancers is unmatched yet many retailers have yet not been able to leverage it and integrate it with their mobile strategy as beacon-based marketing is tricky.
Read on to know the best ways to launch and implement an effective beacon-based marketing program for your business:
1. Build customer trust and confidence
Many customers are wary of opting-in for location-based messages because they don’t know how the information will be used and what benefits will it provide to them. For this, explain the program to the customer as clearly as possible. Tell them the program is to provide them relevant offers and notifications and to improve their in-store shopping experiences. Also, telling them that any time, they can opt out of the program helps to build their trust in you.
Beacon-enabled apps must be high on user experience value so that only relevant and limited messages are sent out to the customers. Irrelevant and bulk messages or push notifications can force the users to opt-out of messages or worse, uninstall the app. On the other hand, contextually relevant and times messages can have a positive impact on customer behaviors and in-store interactions. Remember, you have to engage your customers; not annoy them.
3. Test, measure, and optimize campaign
While launching your beacon-based marketing campaign, it is essential to test it on a pilot basis on a limited, unbiased audience. Testing will help you to know which timing, interval, type of messages, and offers fetch the most positive interactions. When the beacon-based program is in full swing, the measuring and optimizing of campaign is an ongoing process. You need to measure the real-time analytics viz. footfall, visit frequency, and sales to know whether your campaign is going on well or needs tweaking.
4. Give control to store managers
Traditionally, marketing teams work in a centralized manner, owning a retailer’s digital marketing platform. But, working in the same top-down approach in the case of a location-based campaign of beacons can risk isolating the customer. Your targeted campaign would need to rely largely on in-store personnel and merchandise availability as offers and notifications would revolve around these factors. Thus, store managers need to be given more control over campaign implementation planning and execution, and also access to real-time analytics.
5. Take ideas from major brands
Major brands round the world are successfully running the beacon-based marketing program. It’s good to look out for inspiration to run more creative and effective campaigns. Here are a few ones:
Apparel brand Levi Strauss and Co.‘s beacon-enabled billboards prompt nearby customers with an offer and drive them into nearby retail stores.
Shop Now! With Elle beacon-based marketing program lets consumers explore and shop from mobile boutiques, find the closest retail store, get location-based exclusive offers based, and win a shopping package from brands they love.
Virgin Atlantic provides relevant information for travelers to give them a special high-end flying experience, especially to upper-class passengers.
Paving the path for an effective beacon-based marketing program
As per TechTarget, location-based services, provided by, offer a powerful new way to deepen customer loyalty and up-sell to consumers. Retailers, however, need to understand consumer context, provide seamless customer experience, and personalize experiences for their customers to address the divide between digital and physical worlds smartly.