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Why Beacon Networks Are The Future Of Retail (And How To Cash In)

Beacons have taken the retail world by storm over the past couple years. Half of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. tested beacons in 2014 and they are expected to be in one-third of their store locations by the end of this year. Beacons are so popular because they give physical retailers access to the same capabilities as ecommerce retailers, such as collecting granular customer data and delivering highly-targeted, in-the-moment offers. These capabilities enable physical retailers to compete in the fast-moving digital era and supercharge their marketing campaigns.

Beacon technology is already driving impressive results. Retailers who run beacon marketing campaigns see 16X more engagement with their mobile apps. However, maximizing the benefits of beacons is not as simple as sticking a few devices in a store. There are multiple kinds of beacons and methods of deploying them. Driving maximum engagement requires a strategy that effectively employs both types of beacons.

In-store beacons work as a shopper enters a specific store. If the shopper has a compatible app, they are able to receive targeted messages that enhance their experience and influence their decision-making. For example, a shopper walks into her favorite clothing store and receives a welcome message letting her know that a tee-shirt she bought last month has gone on sale. Arming the shopper with that information encourages her to make a purchase, spend more money, and leave satisfied.

Mall common area beacon networks reach shoppers when they enter a mall, if they have a specific retailer app or a third-party app that is on the mall beacon network. The shopper receives a targeted campaign with a welcome message, as well as special offers when they are near specific retailers. This type of beacon has the opportunity to influence where that person chooses to shop and what they buy.

Each type of beacon is useful in its own way. Common area beacons are a powerful tool to acquire new customers by giving them the extra push they need to enter a store. In-store beacons are able to inform buying decisions and improve customer service and loyalty. They are better suited for the retention of existing clients. When the two capabilities work in concert, everybody wins.

To learn more about how beacons work, their benefits, their differences, and how to maximize their results, check out the infographic below.


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