Beacon technology is practically revolutionising the customer retail experience by bringing a whole new dimension of digital interaction between you and your customers. #Retail industry is going through a massive churn and CIOs and CMOs must pay attention in order to provide superior customer service by providing relevant shopping experience. (Read my previous article : Top 10 priorities for Retail CIOs for 2014 – 2015)
What is iBeacon and why is it better than NFC?
iBeacon is, for those who may not know, a version of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) software which was introduced by Apple starting version iOS 7. What we have seen in the past couple of months is that a whole new breed of developers and firms are coming with their own version of software to not only collect details of their customers but also proactively guide them in order to develop stronger and lasting relationships with their customers.
Technologically, Beacon tags have a reach of 70 meters or so and really beat the NFC (Near Field Communication – which I mentioned in my Fog Computing article sometime back), thereby giving it an edge to maximise its reach. Also its less intrusive since there is no scanning necessary.
Who are the big players?
While Apple, Estimoto, Paypal seem to dominate the market, a ton of new developers and firms are developing beacon technology driven apps for their specific customer needs (see Infographic plug below).
How will it transform the retail industry?
- Big Data Analytical Insights: Beacon technology can give retailers tremendous insights into the vast amount for data that they can slice and dice to really understand individual customer needs, how they navigate and what they buy etc. This is a great means to continuously improve in-store experience for their customers and eventually encourage them to shop more.
- Improved customer service: By gaining insights into your individual customers you can engage with them on a personal level and seek feedback from them. This will help retailers tremendously improve shopping experience and complementing it with superior customer service.
- Convert customers in loyal friends: This highly individualised service to customer will not only create loyal clients but through active engagement you could pick brand ambassadors who could become friends and actively engage with their network to promote your brand!
There are a lot of digital trends (see another article called 8 digital trends that will change the future of advertising) that will transform the advertising and beaconing is one of them. Happy beaconing!
Click further to download the Infographic.