Many retailers consider in-store beacon technology the bridge between the digital and physical shopping worlds. Consumers who choose to opt in to the bluetooth-enabled technology are able to receive relevant coupons, products codes, ads and more to help improve their in-store shopping experience. Most believe beacons help meet the needs of today's 24/7 consumers and foster customer loyalty. Yet others are wary of the technology, fearful that it may be too invasive to customers’ privacy.

During this year's Retail Marketing Virtual Conference & Expo, a panel including Maya Mikhailov, executive vice president and co-founder of GPShopper, and Ryan Bonifacino, vice president of digital strategy for Alex and Ani, shared what beacons are, how retailers can leverage the technology, and lessons learned from retailers using the technology already.

In this audio snippet, Mikhailov discusses three main concerns retailers should be aware of when including beacons in their in-store digital strategy:

"The first is privacy. Is this an opt-in experience? The proper beacon experience should always be opt-in. That means you're specifically asking your customers on their devices to opt in to this experience and specifically letting them opt out," she states.

Mikhailov continues to address concerns of managing beacons within stores.

"This is a huge headache for anyone who manages many storefronts. It's easy to manage beacons in a lab, it's very hard to manage beacons when you think about a rollout of about 100, 1,000, 10,000 beacons. That's why when you're looking at beacon implementation, you have to ask yourself who in the market offers a comprehensive program for understanding where the beacons are, what the health of the beacons are, and what the campaign management is."

You can download the full panel discussion here.

What are your thoughts on beacons? Will you be investing in the technology? Let us know in the comments section below.

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