Before we dive deep into the services and its benefits and especially what we are about to discuss here is, beacons and location based services, we will see what exactly this beacons and location based services and step-by-step will see how it helps retail marketing.
Of late a report has shown that the market for mobile context as well as location based services will be on the rise from $12.2 billion in the year of 2014 to reach $43.3 billion by the year 2019.
By way of this article we will help you understand about beacons and location services and its affect on retail and other industries, and how the beacon technology works and how it can be utilized by different types of marketing professional, like direct marketing, online marketing, sales and marketing, channel marketing etc. as another powerful and most trusted tool in the arsenal of digital marketing.
This article is specially written based on the research gleaned from various sources that are reliable enough and made a powerful contribution in this domain and have been contributing to make the journey wonderful.
Beacons the second but powerful big gun barrier, and the one preventing customers from using beacons for search. It is sometimes called the most powerful, yet a one-way messaging system.
Because their use-case is mainly concerned or centered on the customers responding to the location-based promotion messages generally sent by the retailers, but the important thing is, it could easily and smoothly be utilized to respond to searches in the future.
What are Beacons?
Beacon is nothing but a technology, which is relatively new way of providing or delivering location based services. The leading proponent Apple has utilized, though it has been using Beacon, named iBeacon technology, which is Apple’s own trademarked variant of the highly customized and popular beacon standard.
A beacon is no other than a low energy Bluetooth chipset well known as Bluetooth Smart that has its own power of integrated source as well as emits a 2.4GHz signal. This signal helps interact with a Smartphone to pinpoint one’s position to within 200 (approx) feet.
How Can They Be Utilized?
There must be some big opportunities of using Beacons. Let us see how marketers would be benefited using this powerful technology.
For marketers, the ability to combine the location information derived from beacons with other consumers’ information to generating the personalized offers as well as communications, improving the consumers’ experience and at the same time maximizing the marketing effort, keeping in mind improving the ROI i.e. Return On Investment.
Which Location Based Technology to Select?
It is though up to you which location based technology to select or to choose as per your business need. In as much as, we are discussing here about beacons and location based services, therefore we will tell you why you should adhere to location based technology and which to choose after all.
Now the question is how? Yes, here we go! You may wonder does this beacon technology compare with the latest location based technology and if it is, then what is the profit of merging one another? You also wonder that beacon technology and location based technologies are more or less same and can be adapted to work simultaneously that are already in existence, like GPS (Global Positioning System), GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) or NFC (Near-field Communication). Well, one of the most important key differentiators is its precision to locate the mobile devices within a relatively narrow ambit.
And, it needs a Smartphone application installed on the user’s mobile device that means which is especially very powerful in interacting with audiences with whom you are already talking or sharing information and have an existing relationship.
The main utility of using this technology or the service is building loyalty over the customers, which is one of the most essential things for all types of business. This loyalty building is essential to make the customers come and touch lifetime with the company, rather than in one-off purchases.
How Can You Select the Perfect Location-Based Technology for Your Campaign?
The question is how to choose the right location based technology for your next campaign or merges with your current campaign? Now we are about to give you this answer. Your audience is the key, so start by determining your audience first, a proposition as well as required results. The retail sector has been changing every day. It is not only changing for its essentials but also changing to fit to provide the best possible services what customers looking for.
Today’s retail sector is 70-80 percent based on technology, and at the forefront, it is beacon technology which is accelerating the services. It is, because it has an existing customer-base with installed applications and are seeking for the accurate track that helps them know the consumer’s activity in the shop and know the exact time a customer browse in the clothing section or vegetable section instead of wine section.
This is not a real-time scenario, but a track order that are used to track the consumer-behaviour. It is not only helping companies to track the customers’ behavior but also understanding their thoughts and providing the services to build the loyalty, which is another most crucial factor in retail marketing.
As it is discussed earlier that the main utility of using this technology or the service is building loyalty over the customers, which is one of the most essential things for all types of business. This loyalty building is essential to make the customers come and touch lifetime with the company, rather than in one-off buys.
This will help the retail companies understand what to offer and when to offer, and importantly they, then be able to offer the real time personalized promotional offers by combining the information held on their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system on previous purchasing behaviour.
Sometimes it is with their in-shop location information and sometimes popping up the message with some special offer(s) for their preferred tipple, and/or often with new menu utilizing the in-season vegetables.
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication), on the other way, comes in 2 different flavours, one is passive and another is active. It is proved to be less efficient compared to beacon technology and needs to work with the mobile operators to be able to target their subscribers.
Therefore, it is hectic, time consuming and costly. The active version is generally available for everybody to utilize and the location information is specially delivered by way of a network ping from the operators. Albeit, it needs the consumers to sing for the service up, which is necessary. This passive variant involves more difficult engineering things to integrate with the operators’ back-end systems.
This thing will help companies automatically engineer to integrate the operator’s backend systems in order to gather or track the location, for which you are as a customer automatically logged sans the need for network pings, user-check-ins, log-ins and or even the Smartphone applications.
NFC (Near-field Communication) is sophisticated as such because it requires the customer to tap the Smartphone on a sensor, which is effective to anticipate the customer needs or being able to offer them a more personalized message.
Generating the Maximum Return on Investment
Notwithstanding each different approach or the procedure has its relative merit as well as the demerit. When you are choosing something, if it is a technology or service or just a simple consumer goods, you should think why are you buying and what is the utility of buying.
If you get most of the merits of the product and fewer demerits, then you are good to go. These days marketing department generally takes as much as faster decision and longer the term view of the customers to create more and more engagement, because the more loyal customers you have and the more existing customers you have the more ROI you will get.
As you know the ability to combine the location information derived from beacons with other consumers’ information to generating the personalized offers as well as communications, improving the consumers’ experience and at the same time maximizing the marketing effort, keeping in mind improving the ROI i.e. Return On Investment.
There is no shortcut to success and no – one size fits for all – thing is there that can give you end-to-end solution and retail sector is not an exception. In these days, mobile is the best as well as preferred communication channels in the world. Adding the extra dimension of location based technology which is no doubt powerful but still needs substantial expertise to select the appropriate technology or service, because as a retail giant you should know how to deploy it effectively.