What would it be like to communicate with your clients all you desire to promote, in the exact moment they step into your store? How? Using Beacon technology.
For a better understanding of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, we will firstly explain what beacons are. Marketing specialists simply describe these small devices drawing an analogy using the lighthouse. Beacons have a unique purpose: to send a hint which signal its presence there. They are not aware of smartphones around them, nor do they connect or access their information. They just signal their own presence, just like a lighthouse. A lighthouse cannot see ships, it is just spreading the light. Likewise, beacons are simple devices, without Internet connection, with a unique, universal ID (UUID), a major and a minor - and they send through antennas a Bluetooth Low Energy signal.
Basically, like a lighthouse, a beacon only transmits a signal. It is not aware of other nearby devices, doesn’t connect to Internet or Wi-Fi. It only say to others “Here I am, you can use me!” If somebody is close enough to “understand” the signal, it’s alright. If not, nothing will happen.
To communicate with beacons, smartphones need an app to monitor their IDs. To be able to get messages through beacons, clients should download mobile app VirtualCards. Then they should allow access to location/GPS. When a smartphone indentifies the location of a beacon, it informs the mobile app. The app later sends the information to the server - “A user has seen a beacon” and then it acts as a “call-to-action” button.
The most important things are data security and client’s confidentiality and privacy. Before receiving promotional texts, VirtualCards users will receive a complex message of “opt in”. It means they will give their consent to receive offers and coupons straight on their smartphones when they are shopping. Users will active Bluetooth so Beacons can identify them.
Beacons are very useful to find out distances. One beacon can identify the location of a smartphone more accurate than GPS tracking. How? Using the power of the received signal, a beacon can measure the distance between itself and a smartphone. Depending on necessities, beacon’s antenna send a signal which will be recognized by smartphones situated at 2m away, 7m or 10m. A beacon can allow the distance to be set at 50m if it is required. Afterwards a campaign will be set to send a Push notification towards users who downloaded VirtualCards and have activated their Bluetooth. This message can be transmitted at the entrance (for eg you can sent a “welcome” message when a client enters your store), at the exit (to request a feedback about the shopping experience), right after the client arrives to a specific shelve, nearby or at a specific distance.
The frequency of messages is crucial. VirtualCards recommends a beacon to send maximum a message/second, otherwise the owner will face battery drainage. On the other hand, if you want to attract clients from outside your shop, you need to raise the frequency to 10 messages per second.
Also, depending of what is sending, the frequency can be set to a specific user/client. You can communicate a promotion once a minute, every 30 minutes or once an hour. In this way you can choose the time a specific promotional message is targeted to a user.
Beacons give merchants reliable information about clients, helping them to understand how much time have clients spent in their store or for how long they have stayed near specific shelves or products. This data is important for specific targeting. For example, you can send them the next time when relevant offers about favorite products will appear or upload in the app offers with the products they were interested in.
Moreover, you can understand what sale packages would be useful to attract customers, what shopping habits or interests they have. This data can be afterwards used in your sale strategy.
Beacons can be used for a loyalty scheme at the right time, at the right place, to satisfy your clients and to offer them post sales services. In this way you can reward not only the transaction, but also the time spent in stores - this can happen through treasure hunts with prizes, badges, or points with VirtualCards.
Beacons can be an excellent choice to do a cross-sell or up sell using VirtualCards app. Received information can help merchants with the database segmentation in a way so they can offer clients coupons or offers to products of interest - based on spending behavior, previous purchases and preferences. Beacons are the answer to clients’ question: The offers I’m receiving interest me? The sale packages are tailored on my needs? Am I fairly rewarded for my brand loyalty?
The smart using of beacons can lead to long term spending cuts, customer loyalty, attracting new clients, on spot feedback for produces and the raise of conversion rate. The most important thing, however, choose an app used by hundreds of thousands of users owning loyalty cards.
VirtualCards is the ideal solution. With over 400.000 downloads, over 250.000 unique users and with 5 years experience in mobile marketing, VirtualCards can guide your steps to choose the best solution to integrate the Beacon technology in your marketing strategy.
How this idea does sounds to you? Let’s begin by starting to know each other and the possibilities are limitless!
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