In our previous article, ‘Brick-and-Mortar Retailers harnessing the power of mobile’, we highlighted some of the technology challenges faced by Brick-and-mortar storeowners while setting up their retail shop. We also mentioned how the recent technology innovations can help improve their in-store customer shopping experience. This article focuses on the significance of Beacon technology in the retail space and how brands can deliver a robust in-store shopping experience and improve customer engagement by leveraging beacons.
Higher customer engagement is one of the prime focus for retailers today, as it leads to higher sales. To achieve this, a successful in-store digital transformation is required by adopting the right strategy & technology tools to keep pace with the shopper’s expectations.
Beacons allow smartphones to receive location-aware notifications over Bluetooth
Beacons are one of the technology innovations which is already being used in the offline retail sector. It helps in delivering location based marketing services to consumers by proximity detection in various verticals such as restaurants, malls, hotels, museums and airlines.
Before jumping directly to the benefits of beacon technology, let’s first understand what the technology is about and look at how retail store owners are implementing it.
iBeacons or Beacons are small, low-power, wireless hardware transmitters that use BluetoothTM low energy (also called Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart) to deliver proximity-based, context-aware messages. It works at micro range (Generally up to about a 20-50 meter distance) and is ideal for indoor smartphone detection, where GPS isn’t always effective. Today, a number of popular brands have already started implementing beacons in their retail stores for pushing personalized messages to their customer’s smartphones.
Multiple beacon devices help retailers by making offers based on customer’s in-store location
To deliver a context aware personalized message, a communication channel is required to be developed between the customer and the beacon. The communication channel is a combination of smartphone apps, cloud service, CMS app and beacons. Beacons are not used to transmit or receive content – but it is used to trigger such events. Based on the event, an action is defined which is handled by the smartphone app and cloud services. The smartphone app knows which beacons are near and the cloud service knows where each beacon is located.
Apple is the first incorporation of this technology and introduced it along with iOS 7 in 2013, predominately also named as iBeacon. This technology extends Location based services in iOS 7 and also supports Android 4.3. iBeacon is NOT an actual physical device – it is a software. Apple has already rolled out the iBeacon powered messaging and location technology at its 250+ U.S. retail stores to streamline shopping experience.
To reap the benefits of Beacon technology, PayPal has also introduced a USB powered beacon hardware device that is compatible with several POS systems (such as Vend, Leaf, ERPLY, Leapset, ShopKeep, Micros, NCR). It also supports hands-free customer payments with the PayPal app installed on the smartphone while in-store without having to use physical payment options such as cash and credit cards.
Rishabh Software helps retailers integrate and leverage beacon technology by delivering retail solutions like mobile payments, mobile commerce and mobile analytics. Our technology team delivers rapid go-to-market beacon applications to achieve higher consumer engagement.
Rishabh Software is a solution provider of cost-effective and ready to market brick & mortar retail solutions and services. Globally, by leveraging technologies, we provide IT solutions that help clients address business goals, increase business velocity, lower the cost of doing business, reduce TCO and gain a competitive advantage.