How New Gen Business Strategies Using Beacons Change the face of Retail Stores?
There has been a lot of debate that has hit the headlines recently regarding the online and in-store shopping trends pitted against each other. It is still argued that the flourish of e-commerce in retail industry was not able to really pull out consumers to the online shopping world to put brick-and-mortar stores in danger.
Credible survey reports reveal that over seventy percent of the consumers in US still prefer physical stores over online shopping. Today customers are intelligent and smart enough to differentiate between the value propositions put forward by online shopping and in-store shopping. Most consumers in developed nations prefer to get the touch and feel before they make a choice to purchase. Those retailers who have studied customer preferences in shopping are spending time and energy to design strategies that could benefit both the customer and business symbiotically. The main highlights of these strategies are the adoption of latest in-store technology and trends that give a total make over from the traditional retail set-up. Beacon based proximity technology has a huge role to play in these trends and bfonics has been trying to seamlessly integrate beacons into the existing retail strategy. Let us see how bfonics beacon platform enhance the value provided by traditional in-store engagement strategies.
Customer Engagement using beacons
It may not always be a great idea to put a greeter at the store entrance who wishes and escorts the customers parroting the same dialogue every day. They may sometimes seem annoying to customers rather than engaging. With the help of beacons, a personalized welcome note can be sent to the customer’s mobile phone as soon as they enter. Here the engagement becomes highly personalized and also does not annoy the customers. Using the beacon enabled mobile application; a customer can search products inside the store and also locate the same in the aisles without having to talk to any store representatives. Instant feedback mechanism and communication systems can be integrated through the mobile application which allows customers to carry out all in-store operations using their smart phones real time.
Interactive Store Windows with beacons
This is another child of mixed reality that’s trending in the retail space and interactive windows are slowly taking over the store fronts to immediately grab the attention of moving traffic in US. New York based Kate Spade Saturday has installed four such interactive windows which are open to shopping 24/7 even before they opened up their retail stores. These bright yellow painted interactive store windows highlighted with thick black and white graphic designs boast of large touch screen displays upon which customers have the freedom to go through their entire inventory and get the relevant product specific information. Presently the products could be ordered simply by providing the mobile number on the display screen and will get a confirmation message once the order gets approved. This technology can be made convenient for the customer using beacons. A customer coming close to the interactive window will get an instant notification of an offer running in the store and can view the inventory right on their phones. Customers need not wait near the window to place an order, instead can do the same through their smart phone and get it delivered to their doorsteps.
Smart Shelves using beacons
A recent Business Review conducted at Harvard brought the fact into the light that stock-outs or out-of-stock items significantly add to the revenue losses in retail spaces. Survey data reveals that, 21% to 43% of shoppers opt for alternative stores if they face stock-out in their regulars. This roughly accumulates to $40 million in lost revenues in a billion-dollar business sector. Here is where the smart shelves come into the picture to alleviate the concerns with revenue loss on account of stock-outs.
Built with beacons, smart shelves can be installed on normal shelves. Beacons tagged items placed in the shelves are continuously scanned through, which alerts the back-end system about the current products and its mobility. It is smart enough to recognize misplaced items, send alerts to notify expiring dates of products and keep track of each products movement that in turn converts into data analytics for finding customer preferences. Thus this smart app helps retailers with different methods to enhance customer service which is directly proportional to sales ratio.
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How bfonics beacon technology platform help keep in-store experience live
bfonics platform has been tested and used by retailers in enhancing customer experience and value of service delivery. Customers have found the technology useful and interactive. bfonics has Wi-Fi as well as BLE beacons with are driven by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth respectively. They are effectively deployed in several use cases including value-added services such as ‘click-and-collect’ points that add to loyalty rewards in combination with payments over the air and even staff assistance. However beacons are most popular for delivering contextually relevant info on products, deals and other events to the customers.
Juniper Research says that the count of coupons delivered yearly through beacons to consumers is set to cross 1.6 billion from the current count of 11 million by the turn of 2020. Beacons are the boon which the retailers got to shield from the clutches of online shopping as it efficiently amalgamates customers’ purchase habits and preferences across physical and online stores. They have become an inseparable element of in-store personalization strategy which helps connect with customers based on data analytics and send mobile promotions based on customer affinity. It helps to find out loyal customers and treat them preferentially to giving discounts or other offers to regulars.
Leading retail stores across the world are implementing this technology for diverse purposes such as gathering customer information, hosting interactive promotions, automating customer check-ins as well as designing merchandising strategies. Beacons being cheap do not add financial overhead, moreover they are very easy to deploy and is very much effective in the world of digital marketing.