Beacon: Location Based Services

Collecting Customers Data in Stores with Beacon

The wireless technology around Beacon is not frequently occurring in Germany yet.  Though, cities like London show how efficient the usage of this novel technology would be. But what are the basic functions?

What are Beacons?

Basically, the technology requires a BLE-enabled smartphone. This means that it needs to be a smartphone that has access to Bluetooth Low Energy, which is an energy-saving form. Something important to know is that Beacons only work on the apps from merchants or those from third parties. These need to be installed first, the location services should also be enabled, otherwise the technology does not work.

Smartphones with a beacon app receive push notifications when they are in the radius, which is supposedly about ten to 30 meters. The notifications vary frequently, it can be advertising, discount offers, greetings and others similar to those services.

Once the Beacon-User has become aware of the message, it can be navigated to specific products, but only if the store is equipped with iBeacons. If the customer has found the appropriate product, it is possible to pay him on the Beacon app, without having to line up at checkout. The technology can trace the whole procedure until the purchase. It recognizes the most popular areas in the store and with Data Analytics, you can gain valuable insights into buying behavior, which can be optimized in the long term through Predictive Analytics.

Where can Beacons be Applied?

In Germany, Beacons have hardly taken root and only a few shops can be found, that are equipped with iBeacons. The aforementioned device is the most used, which was introduced by Apple Inc. in 2013.

German merchants and service providers should especially focus on this new technology, if they want to appeal to a younger audience. The technology allows one to analyze customer behavior when linked with Predictive Analytics. This can help predict the needs and submit them directly while shopping, tailored to the customer deals.

If one takes a look across the big pond, one can find that about two percent of US dealers are already using the new Bluetooth technology. In Europe, London sets standards: One of the most famous shopping streets, Regent Street, has recently been equipped with the Beacon technology. If manageable, all transactions to be there equipped with iBeacons. It even developed its own app for the Street to give the customer the ability to communicate over two kilometers with iBeacons.