(Source: ZD Net)
In the post-crisis world of the future, and beyond – efficiency will remain the key expectation from brands for any modern consumer. And, the rapid increase in smartphone use has pushed the efficacy demands of location-based marketing over the edge.
That’s why, more than 7 years after its first introduction, beacon technology is making a strong comeback today.
How and Why It Works
Beacon technology uses Bluetooth positioning systems and Internet of Things (IoT) to detect a human presence nearby. Their proximity to the beacon triggers certain preset actions that deliver notification popups to their smartphones through a third-party branded application.
Beacons are less intrusive than other engagement tools. They’ve found the perfect niche of engaging customers through location-specific experiences and useful push notifications delivered directly to their phone screens.
Today, beacon technology has transitioned from being just a push marketing strategy, to being an opt-in strategy for businesses to engage with customers in new ways.
Experts have been quick to chime in with their excitement for this technology. GeoMarketing data suggested that by 2020, beacon deployments would surpass 400 million globally.
Looking further, by 2026 the beacon technology market is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 59.8% to reach about $56.6 billion. In fact, Android devices collect more than 40 billion queries for beacon-related content from Google services every year.
(Source: CB Insights)
All kinds of industrial sectors like restaurants, educational institutions, finance, travel and more have already started leveraging beacon solutions to track and communicate targeted or personalized ads with their potential and existing customers.
For retail marketers in particular, beacon marketing helps give their brand the competitive edge during a pandemic where omnichannel shopping is becoming the norm.
Standout Use Case in Retail: Sephora
With many big brands from Amazon and Pepsi to McDonald’s and Starbucks continuing to invest beacons, we’ve prepared a short case study of a brand that stood out. Read on to see how they implemented beacons to further maintain their position as a leader in the beauty retail world:
The Personal Touch
In 2015, the cosmetics giant Sephora launched The Sephora Innovation Lab. This step elevated the brand’s technological ability to create a more seamless and personalized shopping experience across the web, mobile, and in-store.
(Source: CB Insights)
Their in-store beacons in conjunction with their Sephora To Go Mobile app cater to a wide variety of digital demands of its customers including:
- birthday alerts to remind them to pick up a complementary product with their purchase during their birthday month
- loyalty program updates
- access to immersive augmented reality experiences
- ability to scan any product in-store to read their ratings and reviews
So, when a customer walks into a Sephora store today, the beacons instantly send their app a map of the store, a list of daily promotions and even integrates suggestions with their wish lists.
In addition to this, beacons also give store representatives access to that customer’s purchase history to help them locate products or suggest new products based on their tastes.
Contactless Payments (and More)
Sephora developed the perfect solution for customers who want to limit their exposure to surfaces during the pandemic by receiving payment alerts and more on their phone screen.
They recently combined beacons together with their mobile wallets to lead to increased customer loyalty by:
- alerting customers about the products in their shopping cart
- alerting them to get a free mini-makeover at the store’s Beauty Studio
- reminding shoppers to use their Beauty Insider card to collect reward points
Ready to Follow the Beacon?
In today’s world where content options are limitless, beacon technology promises brands spot-on non-intrusive engagement that can make all the difference to consumers.
After all, beacons require little investment, are easy to set up regardless of business size and add measurable benefits to brands across industries.
Will 2021 be the year your brand gets onboard with beacon marketing?
Remember, for beacon technology to work optimally, customers must have a branded app installed on their phone and consent to receiving notifications.
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