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Beacon Technology for Retail

Saroop K P

When was the last time you used the Bluetooth option in your smartphone? It must be for connecting with a Bluetooth headset or speaker. For a while, it seemed that Bluetooth’s era was seeing its dusk until the concept of smart cities and in-store marketing techniques came into actuality. It can be said that it literally started reviving the use of Bluetooth quietly for better customer engagements in the retail market world. Coming in the size of a small box, a beacon transmits information regarding the product that a company offers, and elevates the customer experience to new levels with its connectivity made viable across smartphones.

In large stores where products are arranged at different levels, it often demands guidance for the customer to target what they are looking for. Since smartphones have become ubiquitous, shoppers do not prefer a human assistance for product description and guidance. As a small, battery-operated wireless device that transmit Bluetooth signals to nearby smartphones, Beacons serve shoppers advertisements related to the product, or sometimes gift coupons or rewards. In case of a retail shop, beacons help to download the right retail app into their smartphones and guide them through the shop.

Proximity marketing using beacon can create cohesive online as well as in-store experience. According to a study, retail shoppers who are using mobile phones inside a store are rapidly increasing. Deloitte Consulting says that digital interactions influence 56 cents of every dollar spent at brick-and-mortar stores. Product prize comparison, product information, etc. are some of the proximity marketing engagements done by the shoppers using their smartphone.

The spike in e-commerce marketing and digitization is thriving proximity marketing market. As per the report, the proximity marketing arena is expected to be worth USD 52.4 billion by 2022. Retailers are not the only who rely on beacon technology, but restaurants, coffee shops, trade shows etc. are also among other verticals. Beacon technology in the coming years revives me-commerce segment by closing barriers of personalised marketing, and making customer engagements effortless.

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