Beacon-Influenced Sales Predicted To Grow 11 Times More Next Year

Read original story on: MediaPost

$4 billion this year, $44 billion next: BI Intelligence’s Beacons Report on beacon-influenced retail sales are certainly eye-catching. Despite its predicted substantial growth, it is important to remember that this still takes up less than 0.1% of total store sales for now. More retailers need to get on board with the proximity technology for beacons to hit mainstream. According to the report, consumer adoptions will be driven by coupons, loyalty programs and personalized messaging.

How Facebook Is Using Beacons To Launch Place Tips

Read original story on: VentureBeat

Facebook is looking to take on Yelp and Foursquare with a new feature for its mobile app that delivers useful info about your location right into the News Feed. Dubbed “Place Tips”, this new feature will show you things like posts and photos your friends have shared about a certain place or business nearby, should you choose to opt in.

Moreover, the company is planning to test out beacons with small local businesses in order to make its tips as geographically accurate as possible. The pilot program has started for users in New York City, marking Facebook’s first entry into the hyperlocal market, just as our creative director Scott Varland predicted months ago.

How Beacons Can Help Link In-Store Behaviors To Online Ads

Read the original story on: Business Insider

Norway-based startup media platform Unacast and California-based marketing agency Total Communicator Solutions (TCS) have announced a global partnership that will allow brands to “re-target” online and mobile ads to shoppers by tracking what they’ve looked at while in-store. According to Erik Bjontegard, president and founder of TCS:

By combining the location-based marketing application with Unacast’s online/offline profiles, our clients will be able to connect to their customers in the store and then retarget the same customer online, with a more relevant and targeted ad, based on the customer’s recent offline behavior.

Ultimately, Unacast wants more beacon companies to join in order to create a global network to anonymously group and standardize beacon data for better retargeting. But the companies should be careful as to differentiate their retargeted offers—after all, just picking up an item in a store doesn’t necessarily demonstrate purchase intent.

On Trend: Digitally Enhanced Experiences Are Taking Over Live Events

Attending a live event, such as a game or concert, is a unique experience, but increasing costs and crowd-induced inconvenience have driven more consumers to watch from the comfort of their living rooms.  In order to lure fans—especially younger generations—back to venues, event organizers and venue owners alike are pushing for live experiences enhanced by mobile and location-based technology.

When designing a digital experience to complement a live event, the first step is to identify whether the event is more location- or time-dependent. Although both types rely on widespread smartphone usage, a strong WiFi connection, and proximity technology like beacons, the user experiences they offer can differ significantly:

  • Location-dependent apps work great for events that happen frequently in a specific venue , even if the audience changes each time. This is best shown in the VenueNext app for Levi’s Stadium, home to the SF Giants. The app boasts features that cover everything from digital tickets and parking passes to instant replays on smartphones and beacon-enabled seat locating. The app also offers convenient services such as mobile food ordering, in-stadium navigation, and real-time updated queue length, all of which encourage spending on concessions and merchandise, thereby boosting revenues for the venues.
  • Event-based apps are better during events in which the audience stays the same throughout its limited yet intensive time frame, as in the case of conferences or music festivals. Therefore, organizers typically design digital experiences that are heavy on notifications, event streaming, and social interaction. The SXSW GO app, for example, provides the users with personalized schedule building, event audio streaming enabled by SoundCloud, and a geo-fenced SXSocial network connecting thousands of its attendees.

Despite the differentiation, digitally enhanced tools are slowly but surely changing the way people experience live events, which opens up new opportunities for event organizers and brand sponsors to connect with the audience.

Partner Spotlight: Roximity

Roximity is a leader in the emerging space of “hyperlocal retail”: using its state-of-the-art beacon technology, the company aims to understand consumer behavior and advertising effectiveness at shelf. In the past two weeks, Roximity has released a new generation of beacon hardware with greater range, battery life, and security, in addition to partnering with shopping app giant Ibotta, which will use Roximity tech to send proximity-enabled offers on nearby products. The platform has been featured in the New York TimesUSA Today and more, and has secured partnerships with everyone from Ford to the Brooklyn Nets.

How does “hyperlocal” retail work? Will people have to “check in” at every store aisle? 

Myriad hardware and software solutions are trying to maximize the relationship between brands on the shelf and the humans that buy them. “Beacon” technology—of which Apple’s’ iBeacon is the best known—uses Bluetooth to track the location and patterns of shoppers within the aisles. This level of tracking means that retailers can learn valuable data about their shoppers, and consumers can receive messages and offers based on where they are in a store.

How does Roximity’s technology work for advertisers?

For Alex Finkel, head of partnerships at Roximity, beacons close the attribution loop. ”Groupon might have an offer to your local restaurant, but your phone won’t know you actually went there. Beacons will be an integral tool for small businesses to have insight into their customers [that] they’ve never had before.” Roximity’s beacons link up with a consumer’s mobile device to send messages, deals, or calls to action at the shelf level. Retailers can understand the effects of their advertising campaign through Roximity’s platform as it tracks user activity within a store.

What advantages does Roximity hold for consumers?

Roximity sees hyperlocal technology as a return to a more intimate relationship between consumers and retailers. In big cities, Finkel says, “all the scale and density make it impossible to know your customers in the ideal version of the local small-town store we picture. That’s the relationship we strive for, but the urban economics make it difficult.” Beacons give retailers more information and more avenues to communicate with shoppers. It’s a futuristic version of the friendly handshake from decades past. For Roximity, beacons are “a step toward the personalization that used to exist.”

With beacons, consumers can make informed decisions at the shelf level. “If it’s contextual and meaningful,” says Finkel, “it’s not an advertisement for free pizza. It becomes a meaningful way to get lunch. That’s what I think of the broad vision and promise for beacons.”