When you're building a successful beacon strategy there are numerous factors involved and most of them don't even involve beacons, it's typically all about the apps that make them come to life.
There are many questions you have to consider, who is it for, how will your customers use it, how will it work, where do you place our beacons etc.
The reality is your location-based or contextual-based strategy will only work when everything works together, starting with your beacons and your applications.
Beacons need apps and apps need beacons. Beacons need apps to recognize their identifiers and provide the means for interaction or the context, while apps need beacons to trigger the interaction based on location. Apps and beacons are made for each other – literally!
However, the secret to a great beacon strategy is in the value it brings to your customers.
Tons of retailers have already been honing in on this trend and we’ve laid out 3 examples of how some of them are simply doing it better than others.
ShopBeacon was created by Shopkick, and it does some incredibly useful things for shoppers.
ShopBeacon greets American Eagle, Aerie store, Macy’s, Best Buy, JCPenny, Crate & Barrel, and Target shoppers the moment they walk in the store.
It also doles out department-specific information and delivers reward-points called “kicks” to consumers just for being inside a participating store.
In addition to rewards the app delivers new deals & discounts, as well as product recommendations depending on where the shopper is located throughout the store.
The best thing about this app though is that it can tap into a user’s browsing behavior and check if they have “liked” any of the store’s products.
This enables the retailer to provide it's shoppers with a more personalized experience by offering in-store recommendations of products the shopper has already showed interest in.
By combining beacons and the ShopBeacon app retailers are able to take the typical discount push-notifications and offer real context to their shoppers and that's what makes it great.
Suggested Reading: "What are Beacons and Why Should the Retail Industry Care?"
2. Woolworths App
Woolworths is using beacons to address a huge issue with its click-and-collect service. Initially, the click-and-collect service allowed shoppers to place their order online and pick it up in-store.
However, when they get to the store they still had to wait in a long line of shoppers all waiting for their orders to be completed by the store’s staff.
This has generated a lot of complaints, as waiting in line for staff members to complete your order seems to defeat the purpose of the entire service.
Now Woolworths has found a solution with its beacon-triggered app.
When a click-and-collect customer comes within certain proximity to the store, a notification is sent to Woolworths’ picking systems, allowing the staff to start completing the order even before the customer has arrived.
The app can also be triggered at different stages of the fulfillment process, so customers could enjoy a coffee while they wait and be prompted by the app when their order is ready.
The technology has helped the supermarket giant tremendously that they’re now looking to enable all of their 254 stores with beacons and it's adjacent app.
By using beacons and customized applications Woolworths was able to do two things.
First, they were able to re-invent and maximize a struggling program and second they were able to quickly solve their customers problems without disrupting what the customer had already become familiar with.
In other words they finally made the program work the way it was intended. Instead of frustrating customers they are making their lives easier and that's the point of beacons and their apps.
Suggested Reading: "How Beacons Can Grow Your Business and Optimize the Retail Experience"
3. GameStop App
Video game retailer GameStop has joined the beacon technology trend and like the games it sells is looking to put it's customers in control of their shopping experience.
Their beacons work by dividing each store into different zones according to major product categories such as PlayStation or XboxOne.
These beacons trigger the GameStop app to let the customers receive notifications for special deals and allow users to watch trailers, check a game’s ratings and even write reviews for the game.
GameStop is also using the app to study customer behavior and is looking to provide a more personalized customer experience using analytics that the app and beacons provide.
Beacons are a hot commodity right now and more and more companies are looking to developers to create applications that are ready to take advantage of these location-based services.
What these three examples have in common that make them so great is that they understand who their customer is and what they want.
Each app delivers a personalized, value based experience that's easy for their customers to use. Without this mindset in place your beacon strategy will probably fail.
At SecurEdge we've been helping businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes deliver robust, secure mobility solutions. If you have any questions about beacons and their customized applications, simply contact us here, we’d be glad to help.