iBeacons Are In The Driver’s Seat Of a Whole New Type of Personalized Shopping Experience.
“If shopping at a store meant that I could have a personalized shopping experience like I do when shopping at online stores, then I am in!”
Remember when we couldn’t wait for the Sunday paper to be delivered to our front porch. I remember running down to the corner newsstand to buy one, just so we wouldn’t miss out on the latest deals, sales of the week, events, comics and clipping out the weekly coupons to my favorite restaurant and grocery stores.
Advertising back then was pretty straight forward… Nowadays the bigger the marketing ad, the bigger the cost in doing so. While that may have been OK for the bigger well-known food chains, because they could afford bigger newspaper ads or The Yellow Pages and a huge billboard with an average cost of about $5000. So, what about the smaller businesses owner trying to get their start into the market? Or the Ma’ and Pop’s Shops who just want to let people know “Hey we are out here too”. We present to you the iBeacon!
Marc Garrett, Owner of MB2 Access Llc. an advertising agency located in Riverside California stated that,
“An iBeacon is like a lighthouse, It only sends a notification out to the customers smartphone or device and they receive a notification, similar to a text message, and only when they come within a certain proximity of the beacons physical location. The applications for this tech is limitless and may provide being a more useful tool for businesses then they even realize at the moment.”
What is an iBeacon
Todays iBeacon is a intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location. A small Bluetooth radio transmitter, repeatedly transmits a signal that other devices can see… A Bluetooth equipped device like a smartphone can “see” a Beacons signal once its in range.
I know you will agree that the consumer will not be putting their smartphones and mobile device down anytime soon. However, when a person is searching for you or a business similar to yours how do you currently expect them to find you? Do you rely on Google’s algorithm or Facebook’s’ community, do you have a budget to pay for these services and many like it? There is no wrong answer but keep in mind that these devices have now become our consumers very own personal consulting devices!
What is iBeacon Communication
iBeacon communication mainly consists of advertisements sent through small packets of data. The communication is one-way-only, meaning retailers can connect with customers, but those receiving ibeacon messages on their smartphones cannot reply. But there is a to collect customer data that helps build your database list. The iBeacons have a place holder built into the device that stores a unique URL. This URL is the “Landing Page” that you can design with a contact form, a video and images of your product to help drive people to buy your products, and can even be designed to have a discount or coupon code sent to the subscribers email to be redeemed immediately or at a later date.
“According to a 2015 research on mobile behavior by Smart insights, one of their findings is this, the mobile media time spent is significantly 89% greater than the desktop and other digital media usage.”
Ultimately you are capitalizing on an already heavily used device that people are used to and wont throw away. Capturing your audience’s attention now is as simple as sending a nearby notification to them, no app to download and no previous engagement is required.
iBeacon Technology Is Changing Everything
iBeacons are said to have the potential to revolutionize the whole customer experience market. It is being considered one of the most important pieces of the mobile-shopping industry. Giving companies a more effective way to engage with their consumers but also gives customers the easiest and effortless way to be in touch with their favorite brands.
iBeacon technology can tell how far away a user is from a physical beacon. Its technology has proven to be effective as the bridge between brick and mortar retailers and customers glued to their phones. It’s a new way to engage with consumers and provide incentives for a shopper to enter a particular store and incentivize them to make a purchase. Retailers might also offer shoppers personalized discounts, rewards and recommendations sent directly to their smartphones from the iBeacons their self.
In 2016, Rite Aid deployed the beacon technology at more than 4,500 of its U.S. stores its success was astonishing. The iBeacon technology helped guide shoppers around a store pointing out items on shelves and turning up profits the retailer chain did not anticipate.
Physically The iBeacon is as Plain as it Gets
Image Courtesy of: MarTechToday
There are several sizes and types of Beacons on the market, you may have heard of a few of them.. These existing Beacons have been developed by Apple, Google, Eddystone, Kontakt.io and a few others. The is not new technology but you have probably just started hearing about it lately, let me tell you why. Some of the early beacons had a number of problems. The main reason being that it’s a proprietary standard that only works with iDevices. This means it’s cutting out half of the US smartphone market and 80% of the worldwide smartphone market. Meaning that its a spotty signal and only works with certain newer smart devices, but not for long!
Let me tell you about the newest in iBeacon technology the The Eddystone Beacon.
The EDDYSTONE Beacon, is an open source beacon format designed primarily for public use and to blast out information to everyone in range. It uses bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for direct, point to point communication and its Google’s cross-platform standard combines the best of the Apple iBeacon and The Physical Web. One of the big differentiator is the Eddystone supports multiple “frame types” – basically data payloads that can perform a variety of functions.
What can the Eddystone iBeacon and its technology do for your business.
The beacon-based apps are as relevant for small businesses as is for big ones, since they can cater to their customers directly and make new customers aware of their presence, completely revolutionize the way someone shops, not only is it making shopping a more personalized experience, but it is creating a connection between retailers and customers. iBeacon technology will largely alter shopping habits by making them even more personalized in the future.
Beacons can also be used to analyze a consumers shopping behavior and optimize physical shopping habits. This information allows the retailer to send special offers and geofence enabled coupons. Currently in-store implementation is limited, but there is a potential for innovative applications by retailers to capture the market sending push notifications and tract them through the sensors in a customer’s smartphone, thus optimizing retail operations.
What Studies Have Shown
A study by Swirl, a beacon platform, has found that 73% of shoppers who received beacon triggered messages on their smartphone said it increased their likelihood of making a purchase during a store visit. 61% respondents said that these messages prompted them to visit the store more often. The only challenge is in delivering relevant messages at the right time to persuade customers to make a purchase when they are there. However retailers are assuring that the messages received is relevant and customers benefit from them.
Advertising by way of Pen & Paper or TV is not working anymore
I want to share a story with you, a brief conversation I had with the neighborhood mail-carrier as I bent down to help him pick up off the ground several ads that he has been putting in our mailboxes for years. I asked him, why are people just throwing these ads on the ground? He replied I am not sure, he said I feel sorry for the businesses who pay to have these ads go out to the public on a weekly basis, so anytime I have to pick them up off the ground I simply read the name or address then I mark on the inside of their mailbox, “NO ADS” and I never deliver them to their mailbox again. I replied, “and the businesses have no clue that their ads are not being looked at”!
What does it mean to personalize a shopping experience?
Image Credit: AppdevelopmentUSA
When you think about it, why is Amazon.com so successful? Amazon is an eCommerce business that offers customers a personal shopping and recommendations based on their previous purchases, searches and add to cart criteria. The iBeacon technology can do this as well but in a real life context of brick-and-mortar store! Everything from coupons, deals and product are tailored to individual customer preferences and shopping habits. This not only helps develop long-term customers loyalty, but a more engaging shopping experience as well. While you employ sales associates, they can’t always be available to help every customer in every aisle. So with the Personalized shopping experience through the iBeacon technology this helps bridge the gap and increase sales that are relevant to the individual. How amazing is that!
Is an iBeacon Affordable?
Compared to some of the other tech hardware and software, the iBeacon technology is affordable to adopt. The tech is also relatively easy to set up, install and start using, making it a low-risk and worthwhile product to try out. The trick is managing the technology to create that tailored shopping experience for your customers. To get you set up with iBeacons you need an experienced, knowledgeable tech person contact the amazing programmers at MB2access.com to discuss all of your options. You will see all the benefits the beacon technology add to your profits.
Post Featured Image Credit Belongs to: SpaceOTechnologies
Article Written By Blogger Doreen R. for MB2 Access Llc.