What can Bluetooth do for you?

Paul Milner

What can Bluetooth do for your stores? For a quick view – watch our animation – or read on. It’s a question that’s been discussed in retail forums for a while now. But, before I look at that, let me explain why I think Bluetooth should play a role in your marketing strategy.


Everyone pretty much loves their smartphones. But to underline that fact here’s some stats that show how the smartphone is an essential shopping partner:

  • 85% of shoppers use their smartphones in store[1]

  • It’s estimated that mobile devices – used before, during, or after, shopping trips, influenced around $1.7 trillion in sales in 2015[2]

  • 52% of people regularly use their smartphones in-store to check prices (this rises to 57% for millennials)[3]

  • 52% of people regularly use their smartphones in-store to check reviews [4]

So, the smartphone is clearly important. But there’s a more philosophical point here – the physical and digital worlds are blurring and shoppers are keen to receive a consistent experience whether they shop in-store, on-line, or mobile. This is especially true for millennials – 60% of whom want consistency across channels [5].

But what does that mean when the virtual and physical worlds are so different? To me, it means being able to offer many of the interactive, personalised, informative and rewarding experiences that shoppers enjoy online – in the store. For example:

  • 57% of shoppers are more likely to shop at a store if they receive push coupons or offers when in a store[6]

  • 77% of people are more likely to shop at a store that has a loyalty program[7]

This is where Bluetooth – that can bridge the physical and digital world – comes in.


By installing a network of Bluetooth beacons around your store, and connecting to shoppers through your smartphone app, you can:

  • Say hello – welcome shoppers into your store

  • Send help – include a ‘help’ button on your app so shoppers can request assistance – their location in-store can be sent to your teams’ mobile devices so they can assist them quickly

  • Pop-up offers – send targeted, location and contextual offers direct to shoppers' phones

  • Partner with brands – you can allow brands to send discounts and promos to your shoppers (in return for a fee)

  • Gain valuable insights – use location-based data to understand shoppers’ preferences, dwell time, heat maps and more

In addition, messages can be pushed to associates’ mobile devices to inform them that a shopper needs assistance (if they’ve been lingering at a shelf). They can also be sent operational messages to improve in-store efficiencies – e.g. to restock a shelf.

We offer an Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) with a Bluetooth beacon built-in. As our platform for managing the labels is easy to install and maintain, this provides a simple and convenient way to deploy a Bluetooth Beacon network. And, as you can use the labels to not only change prices and promotions but display information that people are used to seeing online – such as stock levels, competitors’ prices and online reviews and much more – you can further bridge the real and virtual worlds.

[1] Source:
[3] Columbia Business School: Showrooming and the Rise of The Mobile Assisted Shopper, 2013
[4] Columbia Business School: Showrooming and the Rise of The Mobile Assisted Shopper, 2013
[6] Retail Shopping: Connecting the Multi-channel shopper, SessionM, 2015


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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