Imagine going into your local home improvement store with the goal of purchasing a new ceiling fan. As you walk through the entrance, a digital display changes from a general “Summer Closeout” message to an advertisement about a ceiling fan sale. What a coincidence, you think, chuckling to yourself. As you enter the lighting and ceiling fan department, a digital display in that area begins showing a commercial for the exact make and model of ceiling fan you’d researched before leaving your house. This is beyond coincidence, but you’re ecstatic to learn that the fan you want is on sale today.
As an IT solution provider, you can probably guess what’s going on. At some point in the past, you installed the retailer’s mobile app on your phone. In doing so, you had to opt in to allow the retailer to check your recent browsing history and ping your phone throughout the store using beacon technology. As a result, the app and your phone were identified as you neared the store. Upon entering, a beacon was able to determine your location to digital signage and then advertising was played to match your current search history.
These types of applications aren’t science fiction, and it’s not just the big box retailers making use of beacons and digital signage to create impactful messaging to customers. The above example can be pulled off with common Wi-Fi instead of a custom app and beacons. With such a low barrier to entry, you should consider approaching your customers about such solutions.
The benefits to retailers are many. By combining beacons/Wi-Fi and digital signage, you can deliver powerful location-based services that can:
- Collect customer data for analytics—Know how long customers spend in the store, where they dwell (especially easy to measure if tied to IP video cameras), what they research and price match while in the store, how many sales are missed and more.
- Deliver a clear ROI—Know exactly how many people saw specific messages and how many of those turned into actual sales.
- Drive brand loyalty—Knowing past purchasing behavior allows retailers to promote the favorite brands of customers.
- Drive traffic to desired areas of the store—Seasonal items and sales can be promoted easily with signage.
- Improve the customer shopping experience—Customers get information on products and brands they are already interested in.
Depending on your customer size and needs, you can ease into these types of solutions or dive in. To use beacons effectively, your customer will need some app that requests permission to have the device interact with beacons. A more common application today involves using guest Wi-Fi. Although not as feature-rich as leveraging beacons, it’s possible to use access points to identify where a customer is within the store. Once you know where the customers are, digital signage and relevant content can be presented.
You might be wondering if customers are willing to share their personal information or if the “big brother” vibe could worry customers. In today’s information age, many consumers have become comfortable with the need to share personal information if they experience some beneficial return. By helping customers save money or improving their experience, and not taking advantage of their trust, you can rest assured customers will opt in. If you’re interested in bringing together the power of beacons, Wi-Fi and digital signage, contact Ingram Micro’s digital signage and customer engagement expert, Tom Jones.