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Imagine a customer is looking at a smart LED TV in the electronic shop’s window, and he/she gets a text with 10% off on that same TV, immediately purchases it and then pays automatically using their online account.
Or, have you noticed when you walk near Apple store, you get their notifications on your smartphone? This is possible today as part of Digital Transformation with Beacon technology. It’s revolutionizing businesses with in-store analytics, proximity marketing, indoor navigation and contactless payments.
Beacons are small devices working on tiny Bluetooth low energy (BLE) radio signals that can be received and interpreted by an app on smartphones. This can work within 50-70 meters of a beacon device. No scanning necessary. In addition, this system can pinpoint where your customer is in the store, micro location, and push specific information to them.
Big players in Beacon technology are Estimote & Apple, while major retailers like Macys, Taget, JC Penney are using beacons for Cross-Selling.
Beacons will boost the Retail industry in many ways:
- Bring shoppers into the store by targeting them with right offers as they walk past retailer’s windows. This is called proximity marketing.
- Engage your customers and get them to feel excited about visiting your store
- Navigate the customers to the tailored products
- Notify your customers about new products at the right time and place
- Use the real-time data of how much time customers are spending in each part of the store for optimizing their in-store experience
- Use the customer’s purchase history and wish list items to come up with product-specific offers when they approach that item
- Allow contactless payments at POS on smartphones so customers don’t have to stand in queues
Today Beacons have gone beyond Retail.
- SK Telecom and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital are using smart beacons to provide round-the-clock patient information and navigation to its 6,000 daily patients
- Starwood hotels are running a pilot to replace room keys with beacons
- American Airliines is using beacons to improve connections with customers at the airports
It’s not that far off. When a customer walks in to the store your sales staff will know their name, what product categories they shop most, the items they browsed last (but didn’t purchase) and what their spending habits are; all to give them personalized attention.
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