Leveraging beacon technology in retail

Paul Milner

This month's guest post comes from Localz. Crowned winner of the John Lewis business incubator JLAB in 2014, Localz specialises in micro-location technology, enabling retailers to access more detailed insight into customer behaviour.  

Beacon technology, which enables retailers to know exactly where a customer is in-store, and to communicate with them in real-time, is being used by retailers all over the world to improve and enhance the customer experience. Localz works closely with Displaydata, who are pioneering BLE into their Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs,) and there is enormous potential to improve and enhance the customer experience, enabling a whole new range of possibilities.  

One of the major challenges faced by retailers today, is how to connect a customer’s online journey with their in-store experience. According to Google, 70% of shoppers now use a mobile phone to aid shopping in-store. People expect their shopping experience to be seamless as they move from their phone, to their iPad, to their desktop, and into a store. People no longer shop online or offline – they just shop.   Showrooming and competitive price comparison, by customers on their phone in-store, are part of the retailer’s landscape. So how do we keep customers engaged in-store, and ensure that they are not using the store to showroom products, and then go on to purchase online with a competitor?   Beacon technology enables retailers to engage with a customer, at the moment they are touching and feeling a product in-store. They can let you know exactly where a customer is in the store, so that you can communicate with them at that moment, via their smartphone. The technology can deliver content, or trigger actions, as people pass by a specific object. Personalised content, such as special offers, can be delivered in real-time, within a distance of 10 centimetres to over 70 metres of a beacon, which can be really powerful.   BLE-enabled ESLs are two things in one. The ESL component offers significant operational and cost advantages of managing a single system and hardware platform, whilst providing retailers with the ability to centrally update and manage pricing and product information, across large numbers of stores. By embedding a beacon within the ESL, beacons become an integrated part of the shelf display.  

Leveraging beacon technology in retail Encouraging customers to use your app in-store keeps them within your retail brand experience. You can do this by encouraging customers to place their phone close to a BLE-enabled ESL, to pull detailed information through to their phone. The possibilities are endless here - dietary information, recipes and videos - the in-store experience just got a whole lot richer. You can even provide a competitive price comparison, in your own app. Integrate loyalty card information, and you can update customers on points and special offers, all unique to them. Having a true one-to-one conversation with your customer, on their phone in-store, is a reality.   BLE-enabled ESLs open up a world of possibilities for retailers. Used in conjunction with an enterprise micro-location platform such as Localz, which enables location-based experiences for enterprise, retailers can harness the possibilities enabled by BLE-enabled ESLs, enhancing customer and staff experiences across their organisation like never before.  

Take a look at this video to see a BLE-enabled ESL experience in action. If you'd like to find out more about micro-location technology, please feel free to contact us.   Nimmity Zappert Head of Sales and Partnerships Localz.

About Displaydata

Our Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) bring the shelf-edge into the Internet of Things era, helping to create shopping experiences that are more engaging, rewarding and personalised – and profitable. We help retailers optimise sales and margin at the shelf-edge, where 90% of purchases are still made.

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