Beacon technology continues to make waves in the mobile space, as 73 percent of consumers acknowledged they are more likely to buy in-store when they receive beacon-triggered content and offers, according to mobile marketing company Swirl.
After analyzing aggregated performance data from tens of thousands of shopper interactions with live beacon campaigns at retail stores throughout North America in the past three months, Swirl found that 60 percent of shoppers surveyed open and engage with beacon-triggered content. And approximately the same number of consumers said they would visit a store with beacon marketing campaigns more often, or they would buy more as a result of getting beacon-triggered marketing messages.
Beacon marketing doesn’t show signs of slowing down this holiday season, as 61 percent of shoppers said they would do more holiday shopping at stores that delivered mobile content and offers while they were shopping.
While there are many advertising tactics available to mobile marketers, including general mobile display and search ads, as well as GPS-based location targeting, Rob Murphy, vice president of marketing at Swirl, thinks that beacons triumph over these techniques in terms of relevance.
“While outdoor location-based mobile ads generally perform better than non-location-based ads, they are still limited in terms of relevance to the consumer, because the location data they rely on is generally broad (typically at a neighborhood level) and also often inaccurate. In addition, GPS-based location targeting does not work indoors,” Murphy explains.
“Beacons, on the other hand, are much more precise at identifying a shopper’s location. They work indoors when a consumer is standing in a specific aisle of a retailer, and can be used to automatically trigger delivery of relevant offers to opted-in shoppers.”
But in spite of its low cost and high targeting capability, beacon technology is still at an experimental stage. One of the hurdles preventing beacons from being widely adopted is that in order to use the technology, brands need to develop a mobile app and further convince consumers to download the app.
Murphy believes that as more and more third-party mobile apps become beacon-enabled, retailers can take advantage of users beyond their own mobile apps.
“At this point, virtually all of the top retailers are experimenting with beacons, and many are in the process of rolling them out nationally,” he says, referring to brands like Timberland and Hudson’s Bay.
“As with any new technology, retailers need to go through the pilot learning phase before scaling, and many are now moving beyond pilots and into national rollouts. In 2015 we will see many more national deployments of beacon marketing at top retailers,” he adds.
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