10 Ways to Improve a Retail Store Using Mobile BeaconsThings
Bluetooth mobile beacons are on the crest of a new wave of technological advancements that will soon be commonplace in many retail stores around the world. Essentially these small devices can communicate with smartphones and tablets though low energy radio waves, allowing the owner of the beacon to send short messages or notifications to smartphones passing through their range. There are a number of creative uses a retail store may have for these devices:
1) Greet your Customers
With mobile beacons, the process of greeting customers as they enter the store becomes virtually automatized. By placing a mobile beacon near the door, customers unsure whether to enter or not will find themselves attracted to the shopping area not solely by the always important kindness of the employees, but figuratively by the store itself, with a short message encouraging them to come inside to take a look around.
2) Send Customers Contextual Messages
In large department stores, customers can find themselves lost and discouraged from purchasing. Thanks to beacons, however, they can always be reminded about their location in the store, and what products to find in specific areas. This has the double advantage of making the customers feel more at ease, and potentially encouraging them to purchase more goods.
3) Broadcast Special Deals
The implementation of deals and special offers has traditionally been communicated by affixing placards to the specific groups of discounted products. This arrangement has the downside of potentially not being noticeable by all the customers, especially if the layout of the shop isn’t very good. With beacons, customers can be alerted of the best deals whenever they pass through predetermined areas, allowing a much more flexible management of the store’s offers.
4) Market Segmentation with Different Apps
Taking this concept one step further, with bluetooth beacons it becomes much easier to segment customer based on a multitude of criteria. By providing different groups of customers with different mobile apps for the store, certain beacons can be set to trigger different messages for different apps. This could, for instance, alert only the most loyal clients about a particularly good deal only available to them, without bothering the rest of the customer base.
5) Redirect to a Website
Knowing the importance of online purchases and e-commerce, many retail stores nowadays have an online portal to sell their products. However, convincing customers to visit it is usually a difficult step, requiring either online advertisement or telling them about it while they are at the store, without a guarantee they will remember. With beacons, push notifications with encouraging messages redirecting to store websites can be sent directly to customer smartphones, where they will remain, a single click away.
6) Keep track of your customers
Accurate customer and store analytics are traditionally difficult to come by, since the main focus of store personnel is typically to encourage customers to shop. Thanks to well-placed mobile beacons however, this operation becomes much simpler. Individual phone signals can be tracked around the store by different beacons, allowing to know which paths are more frequently taken, which areas are most visited, and how much time is spent looking at specific products.
7) Improve Store Layout
Thanks to this host of new data, beacons can also help designers to recreate the store layout most in line with customer movements and preferences. Furthermore, by aggregating data from the past months and years, it becomes much simpler to provide a different store design based on the seasonal variations in customer behavior.
8) Save on paper
Despite not constituting a large expense, Creating and designing accurate and eye-catching placards and information signs can become a long process of uncertain success. For a more eco-friendly and faster alternative, it is possible to replace the least important signs with push notifications sent via beacon.
9) Real-Time Thermostat
Most beacons provide additional data aside from the location of smartphones. Most, for instance, synchronize with smartphone thermostats, allowing to monitor variations in the store’s temperature and to alter them in a more capillary and rapid way if needed. This avoids customer discomfort, and can help further boost sales.
10) Provide a Partially Augmented Reality
While not being particularly science fictional in nature, mobile beacons are certainly a significant technological advancement, which will undoubtedly herald many more leaps in retail augmentation technology. Implementing beacons now will probably pleasantly surprise most customers, and help give retail stores a more modern feeling. It will also pave the way and make customers familiar to similar technologies which could become a staple in future shopping activities.