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Beacons and Proximity Marketing, all you need to know.

Beacons and Proximity Marketing: All You Need to Know

Among the strategies mobile marketers can use to target users is proximity marketing based on the use of Beacon devices. This is now becoming more and more popular. Beacons are proving crucial to help retailers drive foot traffic to their stores, increase conversion rates and sales volume. But what exactly are Beacons and how do they work?

The future of mobile marketing relies on personalised campaigns. The more you get to know your users and target them according to specific parameters, like their demographics, in app behaviour and location, the quicker your app user base will grow alongside engagement and retention.

Location based campaigns are especially relevant for retailers, because these campaigns deliver informative messages at the right time, such as when users are close to the store, and drive footfall.

Among the strategies mobile marketers can use to target users is proximity marketing based on the use of Beacon devices. This is now becoming more and more popular. Beacons are proving crucial to help retailers drive foot traffic to their stores, increase conversion rates and sales volume. But what exactly are Beacons and how do they work?

Beacon devices: an overview

Beacons are small devices that send Bluetooth Low Energy signals (BLE)  to smartphones and tablets nearby. Once emitted, these one way radio waves reach the phones in the vicinity of the Beacon device and interact with the mobile applications installed on those phones. That means that when the signal from a Beacon reaches a phone, it triggers specific actions, like location-based notifications, in that phone’s mobile apps. Beacons don’t send notifications themselves. What they really do is send a piece of geographic information, a unique identifier, to the mobile applications within their range (about 50 metres).

The unique identifier, which is different for every beacon, contains three types of data: information about the beacon vendor; information about a certain location, such as a store location; information about a specific subregion within a store, such as a store department. To be able to receive the signal from a beacon, a mobile app needs to be previously enabled to communicate with it. That means the unique identifier of a specific beacon has to be included in that mobile application code.

Moreover, the interaction between a mobile phone and a beacon device is not automatic. It requires users to enable the Bluetooth device on their phones and to opt in to receive signals from Beacons for a specific mobile application.

Finally, iOS and Android platforms interact with Beacons in a different way. The reason behind this is that Apple implemented an iBeacon protocol which enables iPhones and iPads (running the latest version of iOS7) to constantly scan for Beacon devices in their proximity. When a beacon is detected, it can automatically ‘talk’ to the mobile applications installed on those Apple devices, even if those apps are closed and not running. Due to the iBeacon protocol, we refer to such Beacons as iBeacons. On the other hand, Android platforms don’t have such a protocol, so Android apps need to be running on the phone, at least in the background, to receive signals from Beacon devices in their proximity.

Beacons can emit BLE signals for up to 5 years and have very little cost (a few dollars each).

Proximity marketing: the use of Beacon technology to provide a location based experience

As highlighted by this article, ‘total BLE Beacon shipments will comfortably exceed 400 million units in 2020’. The reason behind this impressive growth trend is that a wide range of new marketing opportunities are now accessible, and very promising, thanks to Beacons. Retailers are more and more keen to use these devices in their marketing strategies to make sure their customers receive a deeply personalized and time relevant user experience. Proximity marketing, based on the use of Beacon devices, is the future of mobile marketing. Let’s have a look at the main Beacon-based opportunities for retailers.

Location-based campaigns

Beacons can trigger location-based notifications in specific apps on customers phones. These notifications might inform customers, in a personalized way, about special promotions, discounts or new products available within the store where the beacons are placed. Location-based notifications can be used to invite customers to enter a nearby store, or to welcome them when they enter the store, or to greet them when they leave by providing a discount or a special treat to encourage them to come back. All these strategies are very powerful tactics to drive foot traffic to retail stores and increase their conversion rates and sales volume. Also, this use of Beacons can help retailers attract users to their apps, retain those users, and increase engagement on those apps.

Data collection

By interacting with the mobile applications installed on smartphones and tablets within their range, Beacons can help retailers track users behaviours and collect relevant data about users preferences and actions. This data is a powerful source of information for retailers because they can use it to re-target customers with even more personalised campaigns.

Beacons with free access

Retailers could enable developers and app owners to have free access to their beacons in order to increase foot traffic to their store. For example, mobile applications about food and dieting could send location-based notifications to users within the range of a specific beacon and encourage them to enter the store and buy what they need for their food plans.

1 reason Restaurants will be ditching the ‘Chalk’ A frame.

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Okay so the whole world is moving ridiculously fast…with talks of AI and Bot technology form the biggest players in the world such as google & Facebook that will change the way we live forever, but….. with all these amazing revolutionary new technologies being discovered, why are restaurants STILL using the good old medieval chalk board A frame to showcase their special masterpiece!

 

The reason.

Tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social sites are great ways to keep up the communication with your customers. But with so many businesses on these platforms, and the constant changing of their sharing infrastructure, your connection can sometimes get lost… or just not reach the amount of people you’d hoped. For example, what happens when you post a status update on your company’s Facebook page these days? Not quite enough, right? Your update only gets viewed by a small portion of your followers. So buddy has came up with new and intuitive ways for business owners, like you, to gain a more direct route to ALL of your customers. One particularly interesting emerging method is called the beacon, which we have called it…”The Invisible”.

 

What is a Beacon? (“The Invisible)

 

Beacon is a way for you to reach your customers using a small, wireless device (the beacon) that completely automates your customer communication. The beacon itself, gets placed next to your business storefront and runs on a low frequency Bluetooth. The beacon technology lets merchants, transmit messages (like a custom greeting,special,deal,event) directly to your customer’s smartphone as they walk by your door. Imagine being able to tell clients about a new service, an upcoming event or a new product and know, 100% for sure, that they got the message. Read on, for three ways beacons can help you maintain personal relationships with your customers.

 

1. Beacons Make Customer Loyalty Easy

 

They say that a simple gesture goes a long way. A friendly welcome when someone walks in your door, a personal message that makes them smile – whatever it is, if you can succeed in improving the quality of your customer’s day, you’re on your way to building their loyalty. And that’s exactly what the beacon device aims to do for you. Not only does it send out a custom greeting created by you, it automatically checks customers into your place of business, without either of you having to lift a finger. It’s truly a 0-click experience. You are going to love it for freeing up your time, and they are going to love you for making everything so friendly and easy for them! It’s a win-win.

 

Reach Customers in the Right Place, at the Right Time 

 

Push notifications (messages that pop up on a mobile device) are another great way business owners are engaging customers directly. Unlike a text message, a notification feels less intrusive, yet it’s just as effective. But, Timing. Is. Everything. While a push notification gets to the right person, a beacon device delivers your message just at the right moment. According to google, messages that are transmitted by a beacon increases the success rate by 40%! This is purely because of the relevancy of the message. Sending it at the right time, in the right place, to the right person makes a huge difference in conversion, making beacon marketing a great addition to your business’ retention strategy.

 

Beacons Won’t Let Customers Forget You

 

The way the beacon works is, it’s connected to the buddy app that your customer has already downloaded. This provides the ability to help retain their customers and also bring in new ones. But what good is an app if it’s downloaded and forgotten about months later? Well, the beacon can help solve that problem for you. Its technology can actually activate your customer’s long lost app once it sends a relevant message to their phone. It’s like a little reminder, a wake up call if you will, for your customer to start engaging with you once again. And a business that’s remembered, is a business that succeeds.

 

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