In today’s technology landscape, beacon technology is creating a buzz. Though many people are not fully aware of this technology, it has been found that the technology has already become part of life for many people as well as organizations. This technology has immense impact on the retail sector. Both customers and sellers can be benefited through beacon technology. So, it is worth knowing the basics of this technology. At the same time, it is important to understand how beacon technology impacts the lives of customers.
An introduction to Beacon technology
The term “Beacon” was first coined by Apple. Today, experts and industry specialists also call “Beacon” as “iBeacon”. These two terms are interchangeable, and they represent the same thing. It gives an underlying communication technology, which will connect various mobile applications. Hyper-contextual content can be transmitted from one place to another place on the basis of location with the help of this advanced and robust technology. Beacons can further be defined as small, battery-operated and low cost wireless devices which can read the Bluetooth signals. Signals emitted by beacons can be interpreted by specific Smartphone based applications.
With beacon, endless tasks can be performed. However, we shall find its application and impact on the retail industry. How can it help the customers or consumers in the retail world? We shall find the answers to this question in the following sections.
1. Better store navigation
When you go to the supermarket, you have to spend a good amount of time to pick the products that you are seeking. Supermarket executives are there to help you to find the products that you are seeking. However, supermarket stores are cutting their cost by lowering the number of employees. Automation is the most viable option for the retail stores, as they are looking forward to lower down the number of employees in a store.
In such a scenario, buyers need high end or technology driven store navigation solution. Beacon can provide top class in-store navigation solutions to the buyers in the retail sector. Without facing any hiccups, customers will be able to find the products that they need. Without interacting with human beings, buyers can get the products that they want to purchase at the supermarket stores. Carrefour, which is one of the leading European retail giants, has adopted beacon technology to provide in-store navigation service to buyers. Furthermore, the same technology has been implemented to provide basic guide and information on various products at the retail store.
2. In-store discounts and coupons
When you go shopping at the supermarket, you shall come across many products. A lot of products come with limited period discounts. Apart from individual product discount, you may also get some freebies if you do shopping to a certain price limit. For buyers, it is crucial to know the discounts and coupons so that they can save money on their purchases. Buying at the supermarket will get more exciting with iBeacon technology. It will provide you in-store alerts on the discounts and coupons. It will help you to secure products at the cheapest possible cost.
Getting aware of the discounts and coupons at the retail stores could not get easier than this. With beacon technology, it has become highly possible to make the buyers aware of various coupons and discount offers. Eventually, it will help increase the purchase of the products for the seller too. So, the technology is helpful for both buyers and sellers.
3. Attract customers for in-store events
With Beacon technology, customers can be made aware of the in-store events. To make customers aware of various events, the retail stores or chains have to spend a lot of money in advertising. Not just digital media advertising, paper advertising is also needed. With beacon technology, the cost of advertisement can be reduced. When customers can be made aware of the events through Smartphone app notifications or alerts, it would become unnecessary to spend money in promoting the in-store events.
Getting more customers for the events will help the business to grow. Retail stores organize the events to make the customers aware of newly launched products. Such events also help the businesses to attain better brand value. Moreover, it will help keep good relationships with the consumers. Having a good relationship with buyers is crucial for the progress of a business. On the other hand, customers or buyers will know about various events with ease. App based notifications will keep reminding you about the events. During the events, buyers can get attractive discounts and special offers on various products.
4. Increasing the conversion rate
Even though you like the innovative concept behind a newly launched product, you still remain hesitant on purchasing the product. The hesitation comes from lack of knowledge and awareness of the product. To overcome the hesitation, it is important for the buyers to get as much information on the product as possible. For this, human interaction is required. However, retail stores are looking for reducing the number of human employees in the store to manage inflation.
In such a scenario, beacon technology has emerged as quite crucial. Without human interactions, buyers can be made aware of various products in a supermarket store. Hesitant buyers will get useful information and eventually he shall become a confident buyer. In other words, conversion rate will increase with beacon technology. Buyers will get the products that they are exactly seeking. On other hand, sellers' concern over conversion rate will be reduced. It is a perfect “win-win” situation for both buyers and sellers.
5. Simple and secure payment processing
Payment processing at the retail stores can be a matter of immense complication. Buyers have to stand in long queues on the weekends. Human executives at the payment processing kiosks may make certain mistakes too. To automate the process in an effortless manner, beacon technology has been implemented. With this technology, buyers will get an uncomplicated payment processing system at the stores. Making the payments for products will be simpler, and there will be no requirement to stand at the queue. Such automated systems are also regarded as highly secured for both buyers and sellers. Nevertheless, human enforced mistakes in payment processing can also be omitted.
6. Alerts on product subscriptions
There are certain products, which come with expiry dates. After expiry dates, it is not safe to use the product. Moreover, customers should also get alerts on buying the new set of products. Sometimes, upgraded versions of products that are purchased by customers become available. Giving alerts to the customers on the upgraded versions is crucial. It is also important to give step by step guidance on products to the customers. All these things can happen with beacon technology. With the present human based communication system, such information cannot be delivered to customers easily. Nobody likes to attain a sales call at the busy working hours. This is why beacon technology is so crucial in this regard. It will send alerts on products to encourage customers to go for a new version of the product or renew product subscription.
So, these are some of the basic impacts on beacon technology on the global retail sector. Consumers will benefit from this technology. But, at the same time, sellers will also be immensely benefited with beacon technology.