Lots of people predicted that mobiles will change the way we live. We never realized when it happened, but if today we look around, everyone is connected with mobile. Smartwatches, glasses, fitness bands have soared digital expectations of everyday life. There are more devices connected to the internet then human beings themselves. Gartner predicts that by 2020, almost 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet. While other reports predict a huge increase in the number by as much as 100 billion. Whoa, it’s going to be IoT (Internet of things) world.
Infect, we have already started witnessing the change brought by IoT. Beacon being the part of it, is making a huge impact in creating connected and engaging experiences around us. Given the future tech device working mechanism, marketers can reach a specific set of audiences at the very right time, with tailored messages to deliver value and foster trust leading to the enhanced buying experience. So the answer is yes!; Beacons are dramatically changing the game of marketing. Let’s dive straight into how this works.
Well, Its pretty simple! Today 75% of users are having Bluetooth enabled smartphones, and a recent Forrester’s report claims that 40-50% of the users are comfortable sharing their location for getting product offers or discounts. Now, these beacons work with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology and enable real-time geo-location-based personalized interactions. Now to support these statements, I will like to share a few examples, which can give you more insights.
I was attending a conference where the organizers had distributed their conference-specific customized app. Being the user of the app, at first instance, it was a simple app to me which delivers information about conference and topics which were going to be discussed at the event. But as soon as I reached there, I got a personalized welcome message, showing me directions to find the exact room where the conference was going to be held. During the lunch hours, my phone started showing me the menu of the food items being served, and could even direct me to get it. And while we were walking out of premises when the conference was over, beep beep…! “book a cab now and get 10% off.” – I received an offer from Uber.
Now there is no magic in it. Beacons were placed in particular locations. When my smartphone with Bluetooth was kept on and having an app for the event and I passed nearby beacons proximity level, it detected my moment and broadcasted messages based on time and direction. So it helped me to reach my conference room without asking for directions and in the end It tried to sell me some of the services.
Now, this is quite a simple example to understand how these beacons work, but when they are used in conjunction with technologies like BigData and user’s buying behavior, then it can create a different level of experience. Take an example of having such beacons placed in-retail outlets. They can easily help you to sell, cross-sell & up-sell.
Don’t miss your favorite product !!!, You have a customer who is fond of black chocolates. He is visiting your store today, and you have some new collection of black chocolates or you have his favorite black chocolates based on his buying pattern. Beacons will show him a message that not to miss your favorite chocolates today.
Cross-Sell: You can provide different offers to do cross-sell in particular areas of the store. For example if a customer is buying baby food items then you give them discounts to buy baby care products and get discount of 5% on that.
Up-sell: Your customer is buying some Meat, and if in the same aisle there is some high priced meet with better quality then you can show them offer if they are interested to buy something even better.
Such kind of implementations require a test and learn patterns. You can identify which offers do work better and how products to be placed in-store to increase cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Day by day, usage of beacons is increasing, and they can really change the way you can sell or market your products.