How iBeacon Solution for Retail Stores Works

Brick-and-mortar retailers who are considering the use of iBeacon technology in their stores appreciate obtaining detailed information about these four areas...

Brick-and-mortar retailers who are considering the use of iBeacon technology in their stores appreciate obtaining detailed information about these four areas of interest:

  1. beacons deployment,
  2. designing iBeacon marketing campaigns,
  3. understanding communication between beacon devices and customers’ smartphones
  4. analyzing results of marketing campaigns

Important considerations regarding beacons deployment

The first step in setting up an iBeacon marketing system at a retail outlet involves selecting the optimal sites for beacons placement. This process is usually assisted by a trained deployment specialist who can determine optimal signal range and locate strategic points within the store. Since physical features and obstructions, such as walls, pieces of furniture or even passing crowds can impact signal strength, beacons are usually installed on ceilings, above doorways or on the underside of the highest display shelves.

In general, marketing beacons occupy these locations in retail settings:

  • Store entrances – to deliver welcoming messages
  • Merchandising areas – to send out offers and discounts
  • Specific product displays – to furnish product information
  • Checkout aisles – to trigger loyalty program usage or confirm transactions

The range of beacon signal can extend up to 230 feet. Within that range, apps can register beacons and beacons can track customer location. However, it is important to know that within closer ranges, for instance 100 feet from a beacon device, the estimate of a user’s proximity to the beacon is more accurate. For this reason, it is recommended to increase range to maximum value only if it proves to be really necessary. Deployment specialist can also program multiple beacons into a network. This process will help the retailer determine customer location with a higher degree of precision.

iBeacon management platform

iBeacon management platform allows you to create and optimize iBeacon marketing campaigns in an easy way. You’ll enjoy the ability to design your own content, schedule promotions and target desired groups of prospects.

The platform permits retailers to adjust information about visitors’ demographic and social attributes as triggers for promotional campaigns. Even the time spent inside the store, or time spent dwelling on the purchase of an item at a display can serve as triggers for delivery of highly personalized marketing messages.

It is important to stress that during any iBeacon marketing campaign, the number of interactions with a customer should not be excessive. Customers will appreciate only those promotions which they find relevant and desirable.

Broadcasting iBeacon signal to trigger content delivery

Communication between a beacon device and a smartphone starts when a prospective customer installs the retailer’s app on a smartphone. The app pulls beacons assigned to the store from the secure Internet site. Store can change beacon assignment or promotion anytime, which will be reflected on shoppers’ smartphones in real-time. Bluetooth must be turned on in the smartphone to enable communication between the beacon and the smartphone. At that point, the app starts operating in a background listening mode, remaining constantly alert for the beacons.

Within a retail setting, every beacon signals its unique ID number. This identification code broadcasts at regular intervals, usually multiple times within a second. When the beacon ID matches an action assigned to the beacon, the app brings relevant information to the customer’s attention – even when the smartphone is in lock screen. Some possible actions include:

  • Delivering coupons;
  • Advertising special and hot deals;
  • Promoting end of season sales and open box specials;
  • Displaying detailed product information;
  • Sharing useful product reviews;
  • Presenting promotional videos;
  • Allowing customers to request sales representative assistance.

Analyzing iBeacon marketing campaigns

In order for retailers to increase revenue, it remains critical to understand how customers navigate the store and where they spend time within the store before they make the purchase. iBeacon management platform enables store owners to track how shoppers navigate the store through the retail environment through checkout.

In analyzing the effectiveness of an iBeacon marketing campaign, retailers evaluate extensive data collected from the iBeacon management platform. It translates beacon signals into meaningful information such as:

  • Who visits the retail store;
  • How customers navigate within the store;
  • How many visitors triggered a given beacon;
  • How many people used the retailer’s app;
  • The breakdown of app statistics by day, week and month;
  • Which products generated the most customer interest;
  • Which ads produced the most store traffic;
  • Which in-store displays retained shopper interest the longest;
  • Did a specific advertising campaign result in sales?

iBeacon owners can analyze this valuable data to develop new, successful campaigns and obtain a maximum return on investment from this groundbreaking marketing tool.