iBeacon is a protocol standardized by Apple and introduced in 2013. Actually lots of manufacturers have launched iBeacon compatible hardware transmitters, usually called beacons.
1. How does it work?
The beacon, is a small transmitter attached to a wall or a counter, continuously outputs a Bluetooth low energy (or BLE) broadcast signal. On the other side, a mobile receiver, typically a smartphone (iOS or Android), displays a message when it passes close to the beacon.
Only 3 conditions needed to use Beacons : the user has activated the Bluetooth; he accepted geolocation and has downloaded your native application (push notifications) or a third-party application like Wechat (pull notifications).
A beacon is usually a small box equipped with a battery (up to 5 years of autonomy).
The device has an identity : UUID (Universal Unique Identifier) and two configurable values that together distinguish and organize the deployment. The UUID will be common to all the devices of the same company. The major value is used to identify a group of beacons, like the set of a store. Finally, the minor value will determine a precise place, like a shelf.
3. Where to install your beacons?
The iBeacon is an indoor smartphone geolocation system, which uses a new generation Bluetooth technology with less energy consumption. Beacons interest is that they can emit from 10cm to 100m by configuring the power of beacon’s emission while allowing sending different messages depending on the distance between your clients and the device.
4. What are the possible use-cases for your company ?
Improve the shopping experience and create a one-to-one relationship with your client
Beacons allow to share all the types of messages like picture, broadcast, vocal message… So your customers could receive products information, obtain shop itinerary in order to improve their shopping experience.
Communicate with a commercial impact
Beacons are a formidable way to communicate with your customers and increase your sales. With the coordination of the geolocalization and a database, these devices offer the opportunity to send the right message (coupons for example) to the right customer.
Complete your existing CRM tools.
Your beacons associated with a CRM tool can collect all type of information about some of your products in store or about one specific customer. This use is a real added-value in order to develop an efficient Loyalty program.
Improve your customer relationship and develop a one to one relation
This innovation can permit you to increase the satisfaction of your client. For example, you will receive a notification when a client arrive in your office after he made an appointment. In a high end aspect, you will be able to know the presence of a VIP in your store and welcome him with a personalized approach.
Develop a web-to-store approach
Beacons also facilitates customer services: for example, in a restaurant, an online order will be coordinated since the moment will be close of the entry (the signal can be received up to 100 meters). We could implement this solution when a customer made an order online and wants to collect his order in store (shop and collect).
Beacons coordinated to Wechat are a very promising innovation that offers significant opportunities for China’s retailers of all types. Phoceis Group wants beacons to become an essential tool built for the needs of your consumers, through our new CRM solution,Vision, can coordinate all your marketing activity.
Source : Phoceis Asia – @Phoceis