The iBeacon: 100% connection between retailer and client is now possible
She is a pretty tall young woman in a suit and high heels, her hair a flash of brilliant gold and her lips curled in a dainty pink smile. She is trotting casually down the street, she stops in front of the door, nods her head, and her hand reaches out.
The next moment she enters your store. And you grin. She doesn’t know it, but you know all about her preferences as a client. It’s the third time this two past weeks she entered your store. She buys suits and shoes. Your latest offer on spring shoes should have appeared on her smartphone exactly 15 minutes ago.
“Can I offer you a cup of coffee?” You smile amiably, letting her know how special she is because you know of her regular visits to your store.
“Sure.” she says.
You hand her the warm cup of coffee and point in the shoes’ department direction.
“‘My assistant is entirely at your disposal.”‘ You’re not at all surprised to see her grinning and heading with total satisfaction to try on some of those shoes.
Does this scenario seem improbable to you? Do you think you could never know this much about your clients? Do you think you’d need sophisticated hardware devices and 24-hour surveillance to know how many times they visited your store and what they like to buy?
There was no beacon of light pointing the manager’s way towards the shoes’ department. It was the iBeacon’s doing. It only takes one quick glance at your smartphone to know everything about a particular client.
What using the iBeacon could mean to you, the retailer
Even though your store is ‘offline’, so to say, it can still have the benefits of an online store.
For the first time in retail history, you will be able to provide customers with useful product information and various great deals in an instant.
With only your smartphone and Apple’s iBeacon installed you could now get insight regarding your clients’ preferences. You can easily make reports over which items are in trend and are sold more often. You can also determine how many times a customer visits your shop without the need of installing surveillance cameras and creating an overwhelming feeling of watching them. It is all done with a click.
You won’t need any of the sophisticated heavy hardware pieces. The great thing about iBeacons is that they are completely free of charge from a power perspective. This technology is also currently being developed to be able to last forever.
You have a smartphone, and you have your offline business. If it’s offline, you can’t be everywhere at any moment, seeing everything that happens and learning every detail about your client. If your store were online, you could track users with cookies, remember their purchases, even know their names and some minimal data about them. Offline, you are ‘blind’ to all these details.
Not anymore. Steve Cheney treats iBeacons as “sight for your smartphone”. If you have this technology, it naturally follows you are no longer cut-out in your offline store. You have eyes, and you can see.
You can do much more.You receive data on your consumers’ attitudes, on potential purchases and ongoing trends, you can make reports and spread offers in real time and even organize a database. What’s essential is that this is real straightforward information!
What using the iBeacon could mean to them, your clients
What’s more is that buyers are the ones opting for this technology. According to Swirl, people are more driven to make a purchase if, while in store, they receive a relevant mobile offer on their smartphone. A staggering 72% points in this favor, while 79% argued that they made at least one purchase due to receiving push notifications over the past six months on their smartphones.
If you use iBeacon technology not only will you attract potential customers because the messages are designed just for them, but you will have the possibility to influence in-store decisions. What if our lovely tall lady, while in the store, putting on a pair of shoes, gets a notification on her smartphone about a 10% discount for suits? She’d more likely pounce on it now than if she were to see it at home late in the night. Why does this happen?
It is the real-time on-the-spot offer that drives the client to the purchase. It is the sense of connection built between the retailer and the client.
What are the costs?
Many would argue there are only advantages when using the iBeacon in your marketing strategy. It allows you to use the benefits of an online store in an offline business; it increases client satisfaction and purchase, and, what’s great, it gives a sense of connection.
Regarding money, there are both advantages and disadvantages. iBeacons are made with low-cost hardware, but you will have to pay the additional cost of installation and the security cost because if it gets ‘hacked’ you put your business in danger. Most importantly, you put your clients at risk.
So, you need to ensure both proper functioning and security.
Network connection could create another problem. The thing is customers have to turn on their Bluetooth and agree to receive various promotions, ads, and discounts. While this doesn’t seem like a problem, you needn’t forget you are working with real-life people, and this kind of technology doesn’t feel like such a vast improvement for everyone. Some people take on new changes harder than others. Even so, with a good sale’s assistant, everything can be solved and explained.
So, are iBeacons the key to success?
Yes, they most certainly are. There are some problems you need to take care of, naturally, but once you overcome them, success will greet you. And it will greet you smiling.
iBeacons are a new marketing strategy, uniting the infinite possibilities of an online store with the much attractive offline store. If you plan a successful business, this technology should be what you have in mind.
Tell us what you plan to do and if iBeacons are a part of your marketing strategy on your website/blog.
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