We have seen the web rampant with post after post surrounding the plethora of opportunities provided by proximity beacon technology, particularly when it comes to retail environments. With a handful of large scale deployments underway, and many more in the works, many are wondering as to the initial reactions by retail customers and how it is effecting not only an associated company’s bottom line, but customer satisfaction. Until recently, numbers have been hard to come by, as the technology is still in its relatively early stages, however, we are starting to get some indication as news of various retail implementations are starting to trickle out.
InMarket recently published a study conducted over a 30 day period spanning from April into May of 2014 which showcases the initial successes of their clients large scale deployments of proximity aware technology in retail locations. One of the most noteworthy findings was the study showed a 19x increase in customer interaction with advertised products. Retail shoppers are actually putting their hands on physical products after receiving push notification alerts about them while in store. This fact is exciting, and is exactly the aim of the location based technology for retail locations…to get wandering shoppers to interact with physical items they may have not otherwise taken notice of, and to genuinely make the shopping experience more enjoyable. With mobile and e-commerce continuing to bite in to a large chunk of brick and mortar retailer revenue, retailer locations have to devise ways to make the in store shopping experience more memorable and truly convenient, otherwise their customers may opt in to online shopping alternatives. Proximity based technology provides just the right opportunity to revolutionize the in-store shopping experience, acting as a virtual assistant and experience provider, all in one.
InMarket’s study also showed retailers have seen a 16.5x increase in app engagement and usage while browsing in store, as well as a 6.5x increase in app retention after receiving beacon initiated messages by their app. This means users are increasingly using their associated retailer apps as an extension of their in store experience, and are finding proximity beacon initiated messages to be enjoyable enough to keep the app on their phones for continued use. With thousands of retail options out there, it can be hard not to get lost in the crowd. By facilitating a merging between the in-store experience and the digital convenience of smartphones, retailers can provide a more meaningful experience inside, without the need to dispatch additional resources and staff.
The impact the technology is having in its beginning stages is quite exhilarating. As more and more deployments make their way into retail locations, we will likely see similar results to InMarket, if the technology is used right. That is, used to create beneficial experiences beyond simply a bombarding advertising tool. For instance, an app the provides suggestions and directions to complimentary products to ones you previously purchased, recommends new items that match your preferences and takes you right to them, or lets you know an item you bookmarked has just gone on sale. These are just a few examples of the ways in which retailers can utilize location based proximity technology to exemplify their in-store experiences overall, keeping customers coming back.