Shopping malls that plan to implement an iBeacon pilot program have to maintain a strong interest in understanding the technology. By obtaining a clear overview of the principles involved in beacons deployment and execution of iBeacon marketing campaigns, management of a retail complex can develop and employ more effective sales strategies.
Effective Beacons Deployment within a Shopping Mall
Deployments typically begin with the development of a comprehensive strategic marketing plan. An iBeacon specialist can offer assistance in placing beacons around the mall in optimal locations. The selection of sites varies based on a location’s physical features and the desired beacon role. For instance, building layout, permanent or temporary obstructions, and even mall crowds may impact this decision-making process. Two critical factors to keep in mind are: (1) signal transmission, and (2) signal range.
Walls, fixtures, furnishings and even foot traffic can all potentially impact beacon signal transmission. Because of this, it is important to place devices in strategic points that will have minimum transmission interference. High places, such as ceilings, beams or tops of doorways, are all good ideas. Beacons can easily be attached to any of these places with adhesive tape in the back.
Malls may choose to place beacons in the following locations:
- Above entrance gates: to greet visitors entering or leaving the mall, and inform them of new openings and in-store events;
- Above store entrances: to deliver enticing content and offers which will stimulate shoppers to enter, to offer loyalty rewards and promote brands,
- In high traffic zones: to cross-sell products between brands, to promote undersold items or to advertise special events, celebrity appearances, flash-sales and treasure hunts. Beacons placed in areas with especially heavy foot traffic, which are more prone security breaches, can also perform security monitoring functions.
A visitor who carries a mobile device with the mall’s app installed on it can be detected by a beacon within a range of 230 feet. Anywhere within this distance, promotional content can be delivered to visitors’ smartphone screens. However, when it comes to calculating their exact location in the mall, especially in areas that tend to get crowded, working with lower signal ranges yields more precise results. If necessary, it is also possible to program beacons into hubs which would allow triangulation of location.
Using iBeacon Management Platform to Create Sizzling Marketing Campaigns
iBeacon management platform allows you to design and implement carefully planned marketing campaigns directed to your customers through the mall application on their smartphones.
Using both push and pull tactics, you can combine text, images and videos to create riveting content that will capture your customers’ interest. Establishing triggers or rules for content delivery will ensure you reach targeted groups of shoppers at the exactly right time and place. For instance, you can use socio-demographic information to promote different sales to customers of specific age, gender or interest groups.
An important guideline to keep in mind throughout this process is that an effective campaign should be neither intrusive nor irrelevant. Shoppers will respond positively only if they are not prompted too frequently and if they receive deals that appeal to them. Make sure your answers to the following three questions are well thought-out:
- How often should iBeacon system engage a particular customer within a set period of time?
- How many notifications should be sent out concerning the same content?
- What is an optimum number of re-engagement notifications when a shopper revisits a particular location?
Beacon Signal Broadcasting and Content Delivery
Each beacon placed in the mall emits a signal that consists of its unique identification number, broadcasted multiple times within a second. Whenever a mobile user downloads and installs the mall’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. Once the customer manually enables Bluetooth on their smartphone, the app starts to actively listen for the signals transmitted by beacons.
When the customer enters within the range of a beacon’s signal and the beacon ID matches an action assigned to the beacon, the app then responds by delivering relevant marketing content previously organized through the management platform.
Collecting and Analyzing Data from iBeacon Marketing Campaigns
One of the numerous benefits iBeacon solution offers to shopping mall marketing managers is gaining a deeper insight into detailed customer data. Analytics data collected and comprehensively organized by the management platform will enable you to:
- Profile shoppers visiting the mall;
- Identify popular sections of the mall;
- Learn the duration of the shoppers’ stays;
- Document the duration of stay within individual stores;
- Determine the number of customers who earned loyalty points;
- Discover the busiest hours throughout the day;
- Learn the number of visits made by a customer on a monthly basis;
- Study a customer’s use of the app;
- Obtain data about customer on-line and off-line shopping after in-store engagement with the app;
- Determine how many customers with activated smartphone apps went past stores in the mall, and how many shopped at various outlets.
This information will assists you in making efficient, data-driven business decisions and adopting marketing strategies that promote sales and customer loyalty.