The Limitations of Beacon Based Tracking and Advertising

The Limitations of Beacon Based Tracking and Advertising

With the rising costs, shifts in customer expectations and stiff competition, retailers are always on the outlook for ways to gain efficiency and increase sales. So, when beacons appeared on the tech scene in 2013, there was a lot of hype around them. They were able to and provide targeted messaging to customers as they shopped in stores by tracking their movement.

The ability to see/track the shopper movement within the brick-and-mortar stores is quite appealing to the retailers. For years, retailers with an online presence have been able to track shopper behavior online through clicks and purchase data, but they have had no way to see what the shoppers are doing at their physical locations.

Beacons Alone Cannot Track Shoppers

The user has to install an app for the beacon to work on their phone. Ideally, beacon notifications should be built in the operating system and we should not need to install any additional app. Unfortunately, the user should have the app on his phone that can catch a beacon signal. There should be enough spur for the users to download the app and allow beacons to communicate. Also, no user likes to be poked with offers/unwanted notifications.

Secondly, movement tracking can only work when a shopper…

• Is carrying a mobile device

• Has the device switched on

• Has your retail app installed on the device and authorized to interact with your beacons

• Has both Wi-Fi/Cellular Network and Bluetooth switched on.

Challenges in Beacon Location Coverage

The BLE beacons can’t determine a shopper’s physical location with pinpoint accuracy, so it can be hard to know how many beacons are required, or where to position them in order to ensure that a zone is adequately covered.

Blind spots are hard to eliminate, presenting the risk that push notifications targeting shoppers in a particular zone may not reach their intended targets, or notifications intended for shoppers in one zone are pushed to those in an adjacent area.

Worth Reading [Improve Your Business ROI with Beacon Apps]

The Risks of Irrelevant Notifications

For example, a clothing retailer, your customer in the ladies shoes section might receive a notification or offer relating to the men’s underwear section just across the aisle—which would probably not qualify as a customer-experience high point.

Trust

The idea of automatically logging in on entering a beacon zone and having your preferences linked to it might delight a few, while spooking many others.

Security

Signals are Easy to duplicate” This feature, often considered strength, can be a weakness too. Though, it allows you to deploy the same beacons at multiple sites, it also makes it easy to ‘spoof’. With growing security and privacy concerns around beacons technology, this can be a huge dampener.

Thankfully, the new Bluetooth 4.2 specification takes care of this, by making it much more difficult to track a user through beacons if they haven’t specifically opted in.

 Technical Limitations

As beacons use Bluetooth Smart low energy radiation to send out the signals to the device, it is essential that the mobile Bluetooth is switched for interaction with the beacon in the beacon range. This part becomes difficult because apparently it is not known where the beacon is placed and when the Bluetooth needs to be on. It can be a turn off for many people as keeping Bluetooth on for the long period of time can drain the battery of the device.

Upgraded Handsets

Your phone needs to have Bluetooth low energy hardware built in. Until recently, only iPhones with iOS7+ had BLE compatibility. Now the latest Android phones will also be compatible with BLE. In most developing countries, people still use the lower versions of operating systems; hence the power of beacons can only be leashed once these people also have upgraded phones.

Conclusion

Though the idea is really game changing, but no technology is perfect. In order to take advantage of all its features, we need to understand its drawbacks and pitfalls and then tackle these with the right information and the right approach! Beacons are evolving and are poised to contribute heavily in the marketing landscape. The above-mentioned issues should not deter you from adding beacons into your marketing mix. Getting a second thought? Recall the time when TV was introduced for the first time; people discarded the idea thinking, why would anyone want to sit down for long hours in front of a screen, when one can simply pick up a radio and take a walk.

Improve Your Business ROI with Beacon Apps

Improve Your Business ROI with Beacon Apps

Beacons are a technology that utilizes Bluetooth low-energy wireless technology to transmit signals which is used by the mobile softwares to trigger their own push notifications. The information is exchanged as per location, after the signal is grabbed from devices that are in  close proximity and support the sharing of information  using low-energy Bluetooth. This new innovation is a much-needed tool or app for organizations, as it can shake up travel, m-commerce, retail and some more industries.

Implementation in the Real World

The devices compatible with beacons are iPhone 4s and later, iPad mini, iPad touch (5th gen. And later), iPad 3. The same beacon technology is also supported by Android 4.3 and later. Along with these devices, this technology is being used in many other industries.

Beacons can detect the location of the devices. It can help the organization to track the location of their employees within the office premises. In addition to employee time tracking these devices can also be utilized in improving staff productivity, booking meeting rooms and more.

So, in case you possess a business and are thinking about taking advantage of this excellent innovation, here are a few thoughts that  can enable you to improve your return on investment:

Beacon for Retail Stores

retail

Beacon applications are widely used in retail organizations since it enables clients to check details of a particular item, or details about special deals and particular offers. At the time when customers enter the store, the application will detect their device and it will even inquire as to whether they are interested in purchasing the most recent models of the same.

Beacon For Travel

travel

Travelers who are utilizing an iOS or Android device will get important as well as relevant information relying upon their area, for example, information about places they can visit, eateries, where they can eat, or hotels where they can rest overnight.

Additionally, subsequent to checking in at the hotel, clients will begin getting updates for the latest special offers. Some low-cost organizations also send updates to clients when they reach at the airport to remind them various rules that must be followed inside.

Beacon For Automotive

With the help of beacons, customers can get traffic estimations and forecasts. They are also able to unlock their cars or perform the same actions using an additional application, for example, Silvercar.

Integrated Into LED Light

Nowadays, LED lights with Bluetooth low-energy are also available in the market. And, it appears as retailers are enjoying these new lower-energy lights since they can cut expenses.

With the invention of Beacon technology, gone are the days when people used to ask others about the specifications or the location of a particular product. Because people who use a companion app while visiting a store can find the product on the map of the store with the help of their mobile phones.

Beacon For Entertainment Industry

In case clients play their favorite game in a shop, they get virtual prizes. Likewise, when passing by a cinema, mobile clients can get data about what’s playing and in case they’re lucky enough, perhaps they can even get vouchers.

Partnerships can be made between music organizations or magazines and private or public transportations, so before clients will get an airplane or train, they will get updates on what artist to listen or which movie to watch or what novel to read.

Beacon For Personal Use

A few people forget to take out the garbage and they require somebody to remind them. By adding a beacon to the junk can and setting an alarm to “take out the waste” day by day, at a particular time, the junk will never again sit for quite a long time and decay in the waste can.

The Beacon will likewise inform clients to take their umbrella if there are chances of rain that day, and keeping in mind that they’re at home, they will not have to turn on the lights, as beacons will activate appliances. This implies when heading to the kitchen to the mobile phone in the pocket, the beacons will turn on the lights in the room.

Beacon application development can bring the desired change in the way your business/brand communicate with your customers. Be the first adapter in the industry and see your Beacon app development help your business ROI in the following couple of years.

The Pain and Promises of the Beacon Technology in the Retail Sector

The Pain and Promises of the Beacon Technology in the Retail Sector

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, turning science fiction into reality gradually. The beacon technology is one such technological advancement that was once a figment of the imagination of countless researchers. Let’s glance through at how beacon technology is sprouting and changing our business world.

What is a Beacon?

A Beacon is a small, battery-powered, wireless sensor with a built-in Bluetooth device (chip) that works on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It allows the Bluetooth enabled devices to receive data within short distances.

The beacon device is purposely designed in such a way that it can be fixed anywhere easily and be efficiently used by everyone. It constantly broadcasts a radio signal, and when a device receives this signal, it reads the ID of the beacon and hence triggering the action in the smartphone app. What makes a beacon technology different is its ability to ‘awaken’ an app that has been downloaded on the smartphone but is not open.

Diving Deep into the Beacon Technology

Most beacons use the BLE technology as it requires low energy consumption and operation costs. The technology only allows for small amounts of data transmission, and hence is the reason why most beacons only transmit their IDs.

Beacons consist of three values:

•  Universally unique identifier (UUID)
•  Major value
•  Minor value

The purpose of transmitting this ID is to differentiate a beacon from all other beacons in an area. The major and minor values are the integer values given to the beacon for greater accuracy in identification. The beacons also carry information about its signal power to determine the proximity of the source.

iBeacon

Presented at the World Wide Developer’s Conference in 2014 as part of Apple’s iOS 7, iBeacon is a brand name created by Apple Inc. It is a technological improvement by Apple that has been implemented in the location framework in iOS 7 and the newer operating systems. As described earlier, iBeacon uses BLE technology to sense propinquity and transmit UUIDs that trigger actions in an attuned app or operating system.

Eddystone – A Game Changer

In response to the iBeacons, Google came up with its beacon project, known as the Eddystone, with more open and flexible approach. Eddystone is Google’s cross-platform, open-source BLE beacon format. Unlike iBeacons, it broadcasts not only the UUID but also pre-programmed web page URLs and thus does not require the installation of specific apps.

The Empowerment of the Beacons

With this sweeping rise in beacon technology, companies are investing in this technology to generate greater revenues. Below is a brief detail about how the retail industry is utilizing and availing the benefits of beacon technology:

The swiftly growing e-Commerce industry has resulted in the decrease of footfall and in-store sales for both the small retailers as well as big brands. In-stores have understood that they have to imitate e-commerce in the expanses of personalized offers and shopping experiences.

Therefore, retail is a critical area where the beacon app development services are expected to bring a huge impact – from proximity marketing to contact less payments to in-store analytics. By the end of 2017, 85% of the retail industry is expected to leverage the beacon technology. Despite the hype, the technology has some great revolutionary aspects to offer. Let’s learn a few:

Beacons send location awareness alerts, updates on merchandise/products, and promotional notifications to lure a passerby to enter the store. It can also be used to analyze customers who walk past the store and their visit duration. This analysis will help in making strategic decisions on product display.

Beacons use in-store navigation and provide real-world analytics like:

•  The areas and items a customer likes to explore
•  Where a customer spent most of her/his time
•  What and when s/he makes a purchase
•  Most in-store rushed locations
•  In-store deserted locations
•  Busiest days of the store
•  Number of people who walk into their store per day

These data provides insight into customer behavior and store performance. This analysis will help the retailers to organize their products, prices and place their products in strategic locations on strategic days and time. By knowing the repeated visitors to the store, retailers can reward those customers with loyalty benefits for their purchase.

Beacon makes a customer’s in-store journey personalized and unique. It fetches data from the wish list of a customer and notifies him when he comes across that particular product. It also recommends products based on price, quality, and offers to provide better in-store experience.

The customers who have already set up their payment information through their smartphone can use a connected beacon and complete their purchase by processing their payment without waiting in long queues. When a payment is done, the stock will be automatically updated (Worth Reading: The Sporadic Growth of Mobile Payment Gateways).

The beacon development services are progressively spreading, not just in the retail space but in the various other sectors as well. Beacons help businesses to attract more customers and to understand the demands of their potential customers. It is a cost-effective and targeted marketing technique that promotes your sales and generates higher revenues.