As smartphones continue to serve as shoppers' personal assistants, retailers can utilize key capabilities like in-store beacons to offer personalized updates to customers’ smartphones throughout their shopping journey.
Whether a consumer is shopping in-store, attending an event, or even shopping at a reseller partner, they expect to receive special information to further influence their purchase decision on site. For example, if the consumer has downloaded a retailer’s app and opted in for push notifications and their Bluetooth settings are turned on, they should expect to receive a notification incentivizing them to discover a new product line, rewarding them for coming into the store with an exclusive tip, or providing them with an in-store coupon.
If utilized correctly, in-store beacons can help drive consumers to complete their purchases by giving them a relevant “call to action” based on their location within the store and personalized preferences.
Driving the Call to Action
Let’s take for example a sneaker retailer and one of its most loyal customers, Mike, has downloaded the brand's app to stay on top of the latest product arrivals. Mike decides to visit the retailer's nearest brick-and-mortar location to check out the new product arrivals. With beacon technology, the retailer can drive Mike toward a conversion as soon as he walks in the door by prompting him with an in-store coupon valid only for one day on the sneaker line he purchases most frequently. As well, as Mike moves through the store's aisles, the beacon technology can prompt him to check out a new line of sneakers that just arrived or notify him of a special store event happening the following week, prompting him to come back to the store at a later time.
Additionally, in-store beacon technology can immediately notify store associates when Mike walks into the store, allowing them to instantly view his customer profile. By instantly receiving Mike’s information, a store associate can see if the customer has any orders waiting to be picked up from the store as well as view Mike’s latest purchase, allowing them to provide a personalized experience catered to his preferences.
Proximity Marketing With In-Store Beacons
Considering that beacons can be one of the best ways to execute proximity marketing and drive purchases, retailers need to think about the following when launching a beacon strategy:
- Online to offline capabilities: In order for in-store beacons to effectively move the needle for your operations, you must have omnichannel capabilities that can seamlessly connect offline and online channels in order to deliver a personalized and connected experience for the consumer.
- Keeping it personal: One of the main ways beacons can influence consumers' in-store purchasing decisions is through highly relevant and personalized messaging. A key question to ask is, "What's the most relevant message to drive the call to action for this particular shopper?" Ensure that your beacon strategy has the ability to utilize customers' profiles in order to only send personalized push notifications. The last thing a shopper wants is to be in-store and receive a coupon for an item they’ve already purchased at full price, unless it’s an item that they stock up every three months. Granular details matter!
- The technology to power a beacon strategy: Ensure you have the right technology to make an in-store beacon strategy work throughout all of your brick-and-mortar locations and serve to both deliver the right incentive and empower your store associates to deliver an up-leveled customer experience.
Today’s mobile-first world has conditioned consumers to expect immediate and relevant information everywhere they go. Shopping in-store is no exception. With robust in-store beacon technology, retailers can do their part to deliver timely incentives for shoppers that drive them to the ultimate action – walking out of the store with a purchased product in hand.
Casey Gannon is global vice president of marketing at Shopgate, a mobile commerce platform.
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