How Retailers Can Use Beacons to Interact with Customers

Beacon technology and apps can allow retailers to interact with shoppers as they move through stores.

In-store technology is not just the province of major retail chains. Small and medium-sized retailers feel the pressure as well to provide customers with digital experiences in-store.

But if retrofitting the mirrors in fitting rooms or rolling out virtual reality seems pricey, there are other ways to edge into the in-store digital world without blowing up the IT budget.

One approach is to use relatively inexpensive beacon technology and apps to interact with and provide personalized information on the fly to shoppers in the store. Beacon devices use near-field communication via Bluetooth to detect smartphones.

Once shoppers allow location services on their phones and opt into an app, a retailer can serve up specialized product information and sales promotions, providing extended buying options and other content when a shopper is browsing the aisles or in the fitting room. The location information gives retailers the chance to provide product details when a shopper needs it most, during purchase selection.

Beacons can also be used to trigger displays and other in-store technology, and can even interact with point-of-sale systems. They also can bridge the experience between a retailer’s online environment and the store, making those experiences reflect each other.

For more on how retailers are using technology to enhance the customer experience, check out, "Sephora, Neiman Marcus Turn to In-Store Technology to Enhance the Retail Experience."

Jun 03 2016

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