Beacons instore: long lasting marriage or early warnings of divorce?

Beacons instore: long lasting marriage or early warnings of divorce?

31december2099 beacon 3Beacons technology showed up full of promises, a win-win approach for retailers and consumers, but we’re not there yet. Beacons are low cost micro location based tags, often referred as “the indoor GPS”, using Bluetooth low energy for communicating with enabled devices.

For a retailer, there are several reasons why beacon technology can be attractive: it can attract customers in store, boost engagement with those already inside, help to recognise, reward and understand the best customers and obviously target ads and other messages to consumers as they walk through a store. It could also be used to monitor staff performance, checking where staff is and what is really doing.

Compared to other technologies, it works indoor while standard GPS does not, its application is not restricted to the payment moment as it happens with NFC and does not require an active behavior by the consumer as QR code would do. And last but not least, great surfaces can be covered with really limited costs.

 

31december2099 beacon 2But in order for the implementation to be a success, retailers need customers who want to use them. It’s not very difficult to understand the potential weaknesses of the idea. First of all, the device (usually the smartphone) of the consumer must be ready to accept the communications, usually by giving access to the retailer app. If you imagine several retailers in the same street using this technology, that would generate a bunch of messages to the same person to get into each store. Then, once inside, Beacon would allow staff to recognize the person, nice to have, but clearly a bit artificial. Then we can imagine the person walking around in store receiving again messages and offers each time he or she passes by an aisle. Some imagine that grocery stores could place beacons in their aisles and have FMCGs bid against one another for the exclusive right to advertise via those beacons. Agency executives say consumers are open to mobile ads so long as the ads are relevant to time, place and activity, but it’s still a fine line between annoyance and utility. I cannot envision happy people bombarded by discounts and offers.

31december2099 beacon 1It appears that theory and reality are currently walking in opposite directions. It’s true that less than 1% of the 3,5 million retail stores in the U.S. have rolled out beacon tech, but this number is growing and there are some examples of success.

I have the feeling that when a technology is really successful, the adoption rate is faster than beacons is achieving, but I still see some reasons why beacons can finally spread:

  • Obviously the value is not in the technology itself, but in the way data can be transformed in valuable information; if beacons are coupled with a good loyalty program and advanced analytics, they can help to understand the consumer behavior more in deep;
  • Beacon technology can “bridge” consumers physical and online experiences: to make this happen the retail have to access to the online behavior, something that can happen only if the consumer allows it or it’s part of a coalition loyalty program, where data of multiple partners can be combined together;
  • They can help fighting “showrooming” with targeted discounts and offers.

References

Business Week on Beacons

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-24/apples-location-tracking-ibeacon-poised-for-retail-sales-use

The Guardian on Beacons

http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/sep/04/beacon-technology-house-of-fraser-waitrose

Digiday… dry and direct as usual

http://digiday.com/platforms/unanswered-questions-store-tracking-beacons/

15 examples of successes and failures with Beacons

https://www.umbel.com/blog/mobile/15-companies-using-beacon-technology/

Dont’ forget to follow the Future Chronicles of 31december2099 on Flipboard! We do it with love, follow us.

信標技術表現出了充分的承諾,一個雙贏的方法為零售商和消費者的青睞,但我們還沒有。信標是低成本的微型基於位置的標記,通常被稱為室內GPS”,採用藍牙低功耗與功能的設備進行通信。

對於零售商,有幾個原因,航標技術能吸引人:它可以吸引顧客在店裡,提高參與與那些已經在裡面,幫助識別,獎勵和理解的最好的客戶,顯然針對的廣告和其他信息的消費者,因為他們穿行商店。它也可以用來監控員工的績效,檢查那裡的工作人員是什麼,真正做的事情。

相比於其他的技術,它的工作原理室內的同時標準的GPS確實否,它的的應用程序並不限於到所述的付款那一刻,因為它發生與的NFC,並且不需要由所述消費類作為的QR碼會做一個活躍的行為。最後但並非最不重要的,偉大的表面可以覆蓋實在有限成本。

但是,為了使執行是成功的,零售商需要誰想要使用他們的客戶。這不是很難理解的想法的潛在弱點。第一個所有的,所述消費類的所述設備(通常所述智能手機的型號)必須是準備好接受所述通信,通常是通過給予的訪問給零售商應用程序的。如果你想像一些零售商在同一條街上採用這種技術,這將產生一串消息的是同一個人進入每家商店。然後,一旦進入,燈塔將允許員工認識的人,不錯的,但顯然有點做作。那麼我們可以想像走動在店裡接受再次的消息的人,並提供每一個他或她經過的過道時間。一些想像雜貨店可以把信標在他們的過道,並有快速消費品違心通過這些信標做廣告專用權的另一個競標。機構高管說,消費者是開放的移動廣告,只要廣告相關的時間,地點和活動,但它仍然是煩惱和實用之間的細線。我無法想像快樂的人通過折扣和優惠轟炸。

看來理論和實際正在行走方向相反。這是真的,3,5萬個零售商店在美國的不到1%都推出了燈塔技術,但是這個數字還在不斷增長,並有一些成功的例子。

我已經了的感覺,當一個的技術是真的很成功的,該採用率是比信標正在實現速度更快,但我仍然看到一些的原因,為什麼信標終於可以蔓延:

值是在技術本身,而是在途中的數據可以在有價值的信息被轉化;如果信標再加上良好的忠誠度計劃和高級分析,它們可以幫助了解消費者的行為更深刻的;

烽火科技可以在“橋”的消費者的身體和在線體驗:要做到這一點的零售已進入到網上的行為,事情如果消費者允許它或它的聯盟忠誠計劃的一部分,這只能發生在多個合作夥伴的數據可以結合在一起;

它可以幫助戰鬥展示廳現象有針對性的折扣和優惠。

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