Increasingly, retailers are looking to beacons to enhance the in-store shopping experience while simultaneously aligning the physical with the online retail experience. Beacons communicate with shoppers' smartphones by sending them media such as ads, discounts and product information. They also pose as a critical tool in enhancing point-of-sale systems and in generating customer intelligence - particularly on how customers browse and manoeuvre through stores.
We touched on beacons in our post on the changing face of retail - the uptake of these bluetooth-enabled beacon devices represents the industry shift in adopting a broad range of location based technologies. Beacons are now being installed in stores across the world, however, despite a flood of media and retailer interest, the technology is still in its infancy - we are yet to see just how, where and why beacons will be used to shape the retail environment.
We've collected the data to provide the essential facts on beacons and their future application.
The big problem
Only 5% of shoppers have the relevant retailer’s app on their smartphone
This is a huge stumbling block for the technology. Consumers need the prerequisite app on their mobile device in order to receive notifications. Incentivising the customer acquisition of the app poses a problem to retailers.
What's more, having the app on the customer's smartphone alone is not enough to guarantee the effective function of the technology. The customer must choose to opt in to the retailer's marketing programme in order to receive the push notifications on which the success of this technology is hinged.
One push notification too many, and the customer will delete your app.
Users receiving an iBeacon notification are 6.4x more likely to keep an app on their phone
In-store app usage is 16.5x greater for users who have received a beacon message
Sources – BT Intelligence, Boston Retail Partners, Cisco, comScore, inMarket, Milennial Media, Motorola