Walgreens Updates Mobile App To Improve In-Store Retail Experience

What Happened
Walgreens has updated its branded mobile app to better leverage the beacons in stores to deliver a more personalized and rewarding shopping experience for customers. The drugstore chain’s updated app will now be able to send customers special deals and coupons based on their location within the bulk of its U.S. stores.

What Brands Should Do
In June Walgreens introduced two APIs, one of which enables third-party apps to access their digital coupons, signaling its intention to expand its support for digital coupons. Now with this beacon integration into its app, the drugstore chain is making coupons a lot more user-friendly and accessible. The location-based personalization will likely help Walgreens lock in shopper loyalty by providing them with a superior in-store experience. Other retailers need to take a cue and start leveraging mobile technologies to modernize their retail experiences.

For more information on how retailers can effectively reach connected consumers by taking a mobile-powered, omnichannel approach, check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: GeoMarketing

Estimote Launches Mirror To Turn Screens Into Beacon-Responsive Displays

What Happened
Beacon tech startup Estimote unveiled an interesting new product called Mirror that promises to turn any screen into a beacon-responsive one that displays personalized content. Mirror, which Estimote claims to be the world’s first video-enabled beacon, is a dongle that plugs into a USB or HDMI port on a video screen and communicates with apps that support Estimote’s SDK. This way, Mirror can detect when users of such apps are nearby and prompt the screen to show personalized content.

Moreover, Mirror can also communicate with Estimote Stickers, allowing it to reach users with no Estimote beacon-supported app on their phones. For example, when a customer picks up an item embedded with an Estimote Sticker, the Mirror-equipped screens can immediately respond by displaying information about said item.

What Brands Need To Do
This video beacon product opens new possibilities for brands to leverage proximity and mobile technologies to create a more engaging and personalized experience at stores, venues, and events. Retailers, for instance, can take advantage of Estimote Mirror to offer customers a helpful and interactive in-store experience. Other brands should consider employing it at events to deliver brand messages in a customizable and contextual way.

The Lab has been closely involved in introducing beacon technology to marketers for the past few years. If you’d like to learn more about the marketing use cases of beacons and other proximity technology, please reach out to our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) and schedule a visit to the Lab.  


Source: VentureBeat

Header image courtesy of Estimote’s YouTube Video

Timberland And Rite Aid Dip Toes Into Proximity Tech

What Happened
Timberland and Rite Aid have joined the growing list of retailers that incorporate proximity technologies into their stores. At its NYC flagship store near Herald Square, Timberland has enlisted CloudTags’ NFC technology to create an interactive in-store experience, where customers can simply tap a product tag against one of the tablets installed throughout the store to bring up more information about the item, as well as recommendations for similar products.

Rite Aid, on the other hand, has finished installing beacons in all its 4,600 stores across the states, and is preparing for one of the largest beacon activations to date. The company is looking to use beacons to push relevant information and value offers to customers in stores via its mobile app.

What Retailers Need To Do
Proximity technologies can be of great use to retailers in creating a shopping experience that bridges the digital and the physical. To better compete with fast growing ecommerce rivals, brick-and-mortar retailers should tap into these kinds of new technologies to create engaging in-store shopping experience that help drive store visits and improve online/offline attributions. For a more advanced look at how proximity technology can help retail brands, check out one of our recent Fast Forward editions.


Sources: Digiday & GeoMarketing

How Elle Used Proximity And Beacon Tech To Drive 500,000 Retail Store Visits

What Happened
For its September issue, Elle magazine launched a Shop Now program that uses proximity technology to send readers location-based notifications and value offers. As Elle readers select their favorite brands in its fall collection within the ShopAdvisor app, they can opt to receive notifications when they are within one mile of the retail locations that carry those brands .brands’ retail locations. And if they choose to visit one of the stores carrying items featured in Elle’s curation, they will receive a digital coupon via RetailMeNot’s app powered by in-store beacons from Swirl. By leveraging editorial curation into push notifications, the magazine helped drive 500,000 in-store visits over a five-week period.

What Brands Need To Do
Elle’s early success with the Shop Now program points to the promising possibility for publishers to use proximity technology to move readers down the sales funnel. For brands, working with publishers to ensure a feature in such curations can help their products stand out among competitors. By joining forces with publishers, fashion, CPG, and other brands can leverage the publisher relationship to a partnership with retailers and app owners with reach beyond what they get from their own apps.


Source: Digiday

Vector Media Puts Gimbal Beacons On Buses For Next-Level OOH Ads

What Happened
Vector Media and beacon solution provider Gimbal have announced a partnership that will upgrade Vector’s transit advertising network to incorporate proximity marketing services. Through this partnership,  Gimbal will provide “both geofencing and beacon technologies” for the 500 buses in Vector’s nationwide network, adding new targeting capabilities for out-of-home ads.

What Brands Should Do
For brands that are looking to take their OOH campaign into the mobile age, hit a wider than usual cross section of a city, and connect with today’s mobile-first consumers, this new initiative between Vector Media and Gimbal provides a great example of how proximity technology can add a contextual layer to non-digital ad formats with added value to engage with the audience.  

Source: ScreenMedia Daily

Header image courtesy of Vector Media’s Twitter

How Coca-Cola Tapped Proximity Tech For Precise Retargeting

What Happened
Coca-Cola worked with Norway’s CAPA cinemas and VG newspaper on a recent test campaign that leveraged Unacast’s beacon technology into high engagement and precise retargeting. The campaign ran on CAPA’s own app and targeted moviegoers with a free coke coupon, which 24% used. Unacast collected data about these users so that when any of them opened the VG news app, they would be retargeted with a Coca-Cola ad offering them a free ticket to be redeemed at the movie theater. The campaign proved successful, with 60 percent clicking on this ad and 20 percent redeeming the offer.

What Brands Can Do
As mobile-based proximity technology continues to mature, beacon-powered targeting has been winning over retailers with a high ROI, scalability, and precise targeting capabilities. For brands that are looking to connect their physical stores with digital assets, now is the time to tap into new applications enabled by beacons to create a holistic consumer experience across platforms.


Source: Mobile Marketer

Target Launches Retail Beacon Program In 50 Stores

What Happened
Yesterday, national retail chain Target announced that it would begin testing beacon technology in 50 of its stores across the country. The company plans to use the technology to send offers and customized recommendations to customers who opt-in for the beacon-triggered notifications within the Target iOS app, and soon on Android.

What Brands Should Do
Retail and CPG brands can benefit a lot from the timely reminders and personalized offers that beacon enables. It would be smart for those brands to get on board early with the test program to start experimenting with this hyperlocal marketing tool. It’s also crucial for brands that have Target as a sales channel to make good use of the in-store behavioral data the beacon program could provide so as to better understand shoppers.


Source: Buzzfeed

Image courtesy of Target.com


Google To Bring Beacon Interactions To iOS Via Chrome

What Happened
Google has updated its iOS Chrome app to integrate Physical Web content into the “Today” view within the iOS Notification Center, where developers can make customized widgets for easier access and controls. While most beacon implementations are focused on notifications and require either a partnership with an app with wide reach or settling for a small audience, Google is attempting to broaden the uses of beacons and gather additional offline data. They want to do this without risking users turning off notifications on an app that relies on them like Google Now. Combined with Google’s newly announced beacon platform Eddystone, it seems clear that Google is determined to push into the Internet of Things.

What Brands Should Do
Physical Web uses Eddystone-URL, which Google’s beacon technology uses to send information to end-user devices, to integrate with its end-to-end beacon platform. Brands, especially those invested in the hyperlocal spaces, should take advantage of this deep integration to get more native-like proximity functionality out of their apps.


Source: 9to5Google

Why Facebook Is Giving Free Beacons to Retailers

Read original story on: Re/code

Facebook announced on Monday that it was expanding its new hyperlocal feature Place Tips to include all businesses in the United States, and as part of the expansion, Facebook will be handing out free beacons to retailers and businesses. It’s noteworthy that Facebook is producing and distributing these beacons for free, which will surely help the adoption of in-store beacons. Although retailers can’t advertise through Place Tips at them moment, it seems safe to assume that the company will add monetization to the Place Tips feature in near future, as it has done with most of its platforms.

Mondelez Seeking More Ecommerce Solutions From Tech Startups

Read original story on: AdWeek

Snack giant Mondelez International announced on Wednesday a three-month program named Shopper Futures, which asks participating tech startups to pitch innovative retail solutions involving emerging technology like beacons and conductive ink. The news came on the heels of the debut of Mondelez’s “buy buttons” across its digital platforms, a collaborative effort born out of the company’s partnership with Irish marketing tech firm ChannelSight. Now with the launch of Shopper Futures, it seems like Mondelez is still hungry for more tech-enabled solution to ramp up its sales.