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  • What is beacon technology and how can I use it?

    Back in 2013, Apple introduced a technology that would greatly impact consumer behavior. Now, in 2016, beacon technology is being incorporated into daily life. How will this affect the business and consumer environment?

    Couple at the grocery store looks at a cellphone and smiles

    What is an iBeacon?
    iBeacon is technology from Apple that allows smart phones and tablets to connect with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices, which is a small, physical object that can be hidden in stores. When a smart device comes into range with a BLE device, it can send the consumer a notification. The technology opens up new opportunities for location awareness and consumer targeting.

    What does it actually do?
    The BLE recognizes a consumer as an eligible recipient of a notification if they have either downloaded the company or product's app that it is connected with, or if they have an iPhone and happen to have a coupon in their iWallet that is connected to the BLE. Corporations use this technology to push messages to users who have come within range of the BLE. The location awareness is so accurate that it can target consumers when they are only in a specific aisle.

    What does this mean for businesses?
    If a business invests in iBeacon technology, they are buying an in-store advantage. When making a brand decision, 28 percent of consumers wait to make their decision until they are in the store [1]. Beacon technology allows companies to personally reach consumers when they are making point-of-purchase decisions. It's the stepping stone between mobile and in-store marketing that has been previously missing.

    What does this mean for the consumer?
    Beacon technology allows consumers to seamlessly integrate mobile and in-store shopping. Providing they have previously opted in, customers can have in-aisle offers and discounts delivered straight to their phone. This will make decision making faster, easier, and more informed.

    Beacon technology will continue to spread as the industry grows. Right now, it is difficult for smaller businesses to utilize beacons unless they have their own app. However, this will change as more companies adopt the technology and more competitors enter the beacon market. Make sure your company is ready to hop on board.

    [1] Shopper Decisions Made In-Store by OgilvyAction, WPP



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