According to the research by Statista, the retail e-commerce sales that automated 2.3 trillion USD is expected to grow to 4.88 trillion by 2021.

Sound impressive!

The rise of retail eCommerce has brought a significant shift in customer expectation towards buying products and services. Online shopping platforms have prioritized customer satisfaction by offering personalizes shopping experience, user specific offers and discounts. This has put enormous pressure on the retailers to deliver seamless offline experience as well. With the help of location-based technologies such as Bluetooth low energy beacons, retailers can provide personalized shopping experience to offline customers as well. With help of beacon based mobile app, retailers can target the right product to the right customer at the right time, providing relevant information and attractive offers to make a purchase.

What is Beacon?

A beacon is a small, low-powered transmitter that transmits signals to the smart phones and tablets to deliver location-based/ context-aware messages using low-energy Bluetooth connections. Every small or medium size retailer is looking to provide personalize shopping experience to their customers as they know that BLE technology will

  • Increase brand visibility
  • Enhance customer engagement
  • Result into more foot-fall if targeted in right way

Working of beacons

  • Retailers strategically place beacons around a store
  • Beacons connect to customer’s Bluetooth enabled smart phone app
  • Signal is sent to nearby customer’s smart phone and it processes the information
  • Personalized messages and offers are delivered over the network by retailer
  • Customer gets enhanced shopping experience with in-store mobile app

Use of beacon in e-commerce is divided into 2 main categories

  • Category 1: e-commerce business that have no physical presence. E.g. :- Amazon
  • Category 2: Retailers who have both physical and online presence. E.g. :- Walmart

Let’s dive-in deeper to know how Beacon Technology is transforming e-commerce industry

Category 1: Check out few ways to use beacon technology for this category:-

  • Encourage to download apps: By deploying beacons in the public places like parks, malls, traffic signals etc., retailers can inform customers about the latest offers and hips and happenings of their brand. To use the offers, you can ask them to download your app.
  • Send links related to your advertisement: Let’s say retailer has advertised some products and offers on billboards and deployed beacon near to that billboard. Beacons can send links/push-notify to avail that particular offer.
  • Blurring the lines between various shopping channels: To stand tall amongst competitors, e-commerce retailers need to use Omni-channel approach to sell their product. Beacon technology helps to collect data from the various channels to get better idea of what customer wants.

Category 2: Check out few ways to use beacon technology for this category:-

  • Helps them with in-store navigation

Customer walks inside a store to find some specific products but from thousands of products, long aisles, multiple floors, in-efficient support staff, it may get difficult to find a product customer is looking for. Deploying beacons inside a store can save time, energy and resources as it triggers consumers on their app to find relevant information quickly, alert them about the latest offers, provides new information based on the location as users walk around, simplify checkout process and reduce waiting lines with digital payment and receipts.

  • Provides data insights about the customers:

When it comes to evaluating insights of the customers, online stores have a higher advantage over brick-and-mortar store due to its capabilities of utilizing web and mobile analytics. But with beacons, retailers can get full-fledged insights of their customers inside a store. Beacon technology provides an opportunity for the retailers to know footfall patterns, entry/exit timings, amount of time spent, frequently visited locations, heat-maps, purchase history all in real-time. This data helps the retailers to target their customers with good offers and discounts on a product they liked the most. This in-turn helps to increase consumer engagement, build loyalty and increase the chances of product purchase.

  • Creates engaging and personalized content

Personalized messages always entice customers to enter a store. With beacons, retailers can send personalized message like greetings with their name when they enter/exit the store, personalized invitation when they are in the vicinity off their store, personalized offers when they enter a store based on the past product purchase and much more.  But, to create high degree of personalization, it is also important to understand the context of their customer and tailor messages accordingly. And this is only done by gathering information from several touch points, both online and offline and match the content to the overall buying cycle.

  • Boosts application engagement and increase customer retention

With the high use of mobile device and m-shopping, beacon blurs the line between digital and physical commerce. As beacon communications take place via mobile apps, it provides opportunity to increase user engagement and customer retention. Because of beacon technology, apps can be considered as an important tool for the shoppers; hence it is a great way to engage and retain more customers. Suppose if customer visits a store and doesn’t buy anything; the beacon will provide all information about the customer and also tell what customers were searching for. So, now store can retarget them with the offers and discounts on a same product that customer was looking for.

  • Avoids losing of customers when product is out of stock: When some specific products are not available or goes out of stock in a store but it is available online, retailers can make a use of beacon to help customers with the link of product in the app and have them order online.
  • Encourages digital payments: Most of the people refrain to carry cash/wallet everywhere, they look for the payment methods using their smart phones. Apps like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay have ease out the digital payment system but they are specific for that device. But, beacon based payment apps are accessible to all smart phone users. Retailers can grab this opportunity and encourage customers to download the app.

The bottom line…

Beacon technology has already brought paradigm shift in the way retailers communicate with the shoppers and has power to increase customer interaction with online as well as brick-and-mortar store. Retailers who would not make the use of this technology in near future may lag behind their competitors.

We at BLE Mobile Apps, offer a reliable, scalable and cost-effective Bluetooth low energy app development services that help businesses to reach their potential buyers. Our in-house expert team of developers are well-versed with Beacon technology and focus on developing customized solution for your business needs.

Want to develop a beacon-based mobile app for your e-commerce store? Get in touch with us today!

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