What is a Bluetooth Beacon: Low Energy Bluetooth Beacons Explained

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Bluetooth Beacon technology has created a lot of media attention since Apple introduced the Bluetooth iBeacon product to the market in 2013. In 2015, they were expected to drive over $44 billion in retail sales and that number has continued to climb. Yet, despite the initial excitement from tech industry insiders and early retail adopters, beacons have still been slow to catch on. I believe this is mainly because the technical-marketing community has failed to educate and explain all the possibilities and applications for this technology.

Beacons are small, battery-operated wireless devices that transmit Bluetooth signals to nearby smartphones. Your message is then displayed as a notification and your message can contain a link. If you have a physical location

Beacon technology is already used by some of North America’s top retailers, including Macy’s, Target, Urban Outfitters, and CVS. Its continual rise in popularity is expected to help reinvigorate brick-and-mortar retailers, by offering customized shopping experiences to customers that can’t be replicated online. Adding an interactive customized digital experience to

Here, we’ll explain how beacon technology works, discuss its benefits to retailers, and offer tips on how to implement it in order to drive customers to your business.

How Beacon Technology Works

How Beacon Technology Works

Beacon technology allows mobile apps to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world using Bluetooth technology and act accordingly. This allows you to deliver highly customized content into the physical world.

Beacon communication mainly consists of advertisements sent through small packets of data. The communication is one-way only, meaning retailers can connect with customers, but those receiving beacon messages on their smartphones cannot communicate back with you, so you should adjust your marketing plan accordingly.

Bluetooth Beacon Technology
Bluetooth Beacon Technology iBeacon, eddystone uid

Uses for Beacon Technology

Beacon technology has proven to be effective as the bridge between brick-and-mortar retailers and customers glued to their phones. It’s a new way to engage with consumers and provide incentives for shoppers to enter a particular store, stay for a while, and hopefully make purchases.

No matter what your vertical is it does not hurt to grab a beacon and put one on your key-chain linking to a page that collects your customer’s data and adding them to your marketing lists. If you are in real estate, this lets everybody know YOU are the person to do business with for homes. Insurance? No problem educate your audience on great programs you have to offer.

Beacon technology can also help guide shoppers around a store. Confused customers can lean on this tech to help them find that sought-after widget tucked away on an obscure aisle. And in the future, it may even be used to provide augmented reality experiences, enabling customers to “try” merchandise on without ever having to enter a dressing room.

How Beacon Technology Benefits Retailers

There are numerous benefits to adopting beacon technology. Ultimately, it enables retailers to create more tailored experiences for customers, thereby deepening their relationships. In this section, we’ll break down a few more benefits to using beacons in retail.

Advertising Tool

Gone are the days when retailers could only rely on print, TV, and radio advertisements to drive customers into their stores. Now, shoppers expect more tailored messaging, with personalization that makes sense. Not only can beacon technology provide that, it can trigger the ad based on a customer’s proximity to the store. This helps troubleshoot some of the physical limitations of brick-and-mortar stores. Now, shoppers can be marketed to at the right time and in the right place.

The Power of Personalization

Just as eCommerce businesses like Amazon offer customers personal shopping recommendations based on previous purchases, beacon technology can do this in the context of brick-and-mortar stores. Everything from coupons, deals, and product recommendations can be tailored to individual customer preferences, needs, and shopping habits. This helps develop long-term customer loyalty, but a more engaging shopping experience all the while. While you employ sales associates, they can’t always be available to help every customer. Personalized shopping through beacon technology helps bridge that gap.

Accessing Data

Compared to some other tech hardware and software, beacon technology is affordable to adopt. Generally, a set of three or four iBeacon transmitters linked to an app and content management system costs just a few hundred dollars. The tech is also relatively easy to set up, install, and start using, making it a low-risk and worthwhile product to try out. Contact Dakota Digital today at 866.416.2002 to setup a risk-free consult to see how we can implement beacon technology into your business.

Increase in Mobile App Use

Shoppers often download apps to their smartphones and forget they exist. Beacon-triggered notifications not only act as a reminder, but increase interest in using the app. French retailer Carrefour saw a 400% increase in mobile application engagement following the implementation of beacons. By leveraging beacon technology, apps can become even more useful and engaging tools for shoppers.

How To Start Using Beacons

Now that we’ve covered examples of beacon technology in retail and how to benefits business owners, you’re likely dying to know how to get started. The first thing you’re going to want to do is purchase a set of beacons and a beacon plan. We can assist you in creating a marketing plan around your beacon to link the physical and digital worlds.

Moving Forward With Beacon Technology

Beacon technology has the potential to revolutionize customer communications for brick-and-mortar retailers. Shoppers can enjoy more engaging, seamless, and personalized experiences, and retailers can gain insights into their consumers, ultimately making it easier to achieve a number of business goals using a single piece of technology. Contact Dakota Digital today to implement a beacon marketing solution to your business.