In the age of AI, Blockchain and AR/VR, the way in which businesses can engage their customers are varied, but what if there was a more simple technology that allowed you to target potential customers as they walked by your store?

Beacon technology is making this possible. It involves a simple small device that can be placed in locations to capture consumers in a new marketing wave called proximity marketing or location-based marketing.

While this technology was slow to start because it didn’t really deliver the first time in 2013, it has gained a second round of interest and that’s because as a consumer, we spend more and more time on our mobile devices.

More and more we hear that ‘Retail is dying’ or ‘people don’t just go to a store anymore’, however, a recent researched showed that beacon technology has increased footfall in a shopping mall by 41%.

Here are three reasons why, as a Retailer, you need to add this on your ‘To Do’ list:

  1. Engage with your customers in a more effective way

Yes, it really is as simple as that. Shoppers who received location-based beacon messages were 19 times more likely to interact with an advertised product than those who did not receive a beacon message, according to 2014 research from digital advertising leader inMarket.
Retailers can send personalised content through their devices and statistics show us that consumers are more willing to integrate technology with their shopping experiences.

As a Marketer, you are probably asking yourself: Will they open push notifications? The answer is yes, more than often they will.

Research shows that people open messages transmitted by a beacon “more than 50% of the time because those messages appear more relevant”.

In the words of our CEO, beacon technology allows you to: “deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time in the right place”.

2. Understand your customers

I know this might sound like a cliche, but understanding the customer and understand what are their preferences is truly the ‘holy grail’ for every retailer out there.

Many retail giants have already started deploying beacon technology and a very popular example is Starbucks – the company uses beacon technology with its mobile app for payments, rewards, and even to tell customers what music is playing in the store.

The location data received from beacon technology can provide brick-and-mortar retailers with some valuable insights, such as how long customers spend on average in a store and what are the most popular product sections. This data can provide the information marketers need to create even more personalised content for their mobile apps.

3. It can help you improve your loyalty programme

A survey from Retail Dive found that roughly two-thirds of shoppers under age 35 research products on their smartphones while in a store. If your brand primarily targets a younger demographic, then you are definitely missing something.

Beacon technology can do more than deliver promotions and discounts. Urban Outfitters, for instance, uses their technology to create a mobile-first loyalty program.

When a shopper enters an Urban Outfitters, they’re encouraged to unlock an offer by checking-in on social media. In the dressing rooms, shoppers are shown user-generated content about products. Shoppers are also encouraged to take selfies with a #UOonYou hashtag, with the potential to be featured on Urban’s site.

By using beacon technology in combination with social media, Urban is able to engage with customers online, even when they’re in-store.