Retailers find it extremely essential to activate stores in specific locations. With the transition from a pilot testing phase to deployment of the ‘iBeacon technology’, we can see retailers engaging with customers on another level. iBeacons are a tiny devices that retailers mount on the ceilings or walls of an outlet. By locally transmitting BLE signal,they can let an app on a consumer’s phone know where exactly he is standing in the store. The location data is then sent to the app server which sends back location-specific sales info, video or other data via a store’s wi-fi, Bluetooth or cellular data.
McDonald’s in Georgia tested beacons at their locations, and within a week they had 18,000 offer redemptions for the promoted items. McChicken sales increased by 8 per cent and McNuggets by 7.5 per cent from the month earlier.
Retailers with iBeacons have an edge as shoppers embrace location-based offers. As per a study conducted by Swirl, there is a 73 per cent increase in the likelihood of purchase. Customers are likely to spend 60 per cent more with beacon communications on.
A study conducted by BI Intelligence suggested 28% customers use their phone to look up product reviews while shopping in-store and 46 per cent call for advice about a purchase.
Beacons can be extremely effective for restaurants as the app clocks the time guests spend there and can use a ranking system to reward them for their loyalty. The technology can be integrated with the loyalty app to provide frequent diners offers like a welcome drink and automatic placement on a guest list.
Successful geo-fencing improves customer experience while increasing the engagement value for brands. Beacon technology will work very well within the retail, events, education, travel and media industries. The back-end system gives a complete analysis of the number of redemptions and how many customers have engaged via this technology.
Many brands in the UAE have started adopting the technology and are in the midst of integrating it with their mobile marketing experience. A good example of successful deployment would be the one by Dubai Culture where the app enriches visitor experience through on-site notifications.
The Middle East needs to experiment to understand if customers are just as responsive to iBeacon technology as on the website. Once the brands are educated about the same, we can see an increase in local deployments for their in-store customer experience.