You’ve probably seen iPad being used in retail environments for all manner of things from digital signage to till systems. But with iBeacon, it also has a nifty little trick up its sleeve for improving customer loyalty over wireless, with bespoke notifications, contextual special offers and more.
How does iBeacon work?
Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology to create a different way of providing location-based information and services to nearby iOS devices. When a device is in range of a beacon (essentially a small, inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter), an app on the customer’s iPad or iPhone will pick up the signal from the beacon and respond accordingly.
How can beacons be used?
Say you’re a customer, and you pass a beacon in a particular store and have the app installed, that retailer could push out specific special offers, loyalty schemes and promotions, or more information around a particular display, to you. Strategically placed, this means you can also work out where your premium shop space and ‘hotspots’ are, enabling you to analyse and monetise your store. Customers feel like they’re getting a more personalised shopping experience, which all helps promote loyalty around your brand.
Apple, naturally, have been using iBeacon in their Apple Stores for a while, letting them pinpoint a customer’s location in the store and enable Apple to present relevant sales information. The Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street, is also dabbling with iBeacon technology; Regent Street resident brands, including Hamleys, Armani, Longchamp and Hackett have all installed to help push exclusive and personalised marketing messages to shoppers via a mobile phone app (Marketing Week).
I’m sold. Can I have some more beacons ideas, please?
There are endless ways you could use iBeacon to provide information to customers, but here are a few of our favourites as a jumping off point:
1. Entice new customers with time-sensitive deals. Whip up a bit of urgency by pushing out a limited time offer to customers as soon as they step in your store, eg “Jim’s crazy deals: Get 50% off all underwear for the next hour!!!”. This would be especially effective around seasonal periods, blue cross sales and similar.
2. Help customers navigate your store. Tell your customers where they are, and direct them to where they want to be, using beacons. Ideal for large department stores, and multi-storey shops, eg “You’re now on the homeware level”.
3. Engage customers with in-store games. This is a bit of fun, but holding something like a store-wide treasure hunt using beacons (with a small incentive up for grabs) can really help engage customers, and even get them to visit parts of the store they may not have originally intended to.
4. Get feedback from customers. As well as giving customers information, you can also use beacons as part of your mobile strategy to get feedback from customers.
5. Give customers a joined-up shopping experience. As the Regent Street brands are doing in the article above, beacons can be used to promote multiple stores, or let you work in conjunction with other nearby stores to offer deals that are specific to a certain area.
Looking to learn more about iBeacon? Download our iBeacon in retail pdf here.
Want to find out more about improving your customer experience with iPad for retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.