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

Proximity Sensors Now In Most Airports, Spell New Advertising Potential

What Happened
According to a new report from Unacast, a marketing firm that specializes in proximity networks,  84% of the world’s airports have or are testing deployment of proximity sensors. In the US, 35% of the top 20 airports have officially deployed beacons. The report also found that 49% of the world’s airports plan to “directly contact passengers via their mobile phone over the next three years,” which will most likely include location-based brand messages. San Diego International Airport, for instance, has already deployed approximately 300 beacons, allowing concessioners based in the airport to advertise their shops to travelers nearby via their own apps or the airport’s app.

What Brands Should Do
This report points to a significant growth of proximity sensors at airports and, to a lesser degree, other transit hubs, which spells massive potential for advertisers to better understand their audience and deliver their brand messages in a granular, contextually relevant manner. For brands looking to connect with travelers at key moments in their journeys, it is time to consider working with airport beacon operators to explore the location-based advertising opportunities they offer.

 


Source: AdAge

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 (samantha@ipglab.com) and schedule a visit to the Lab.  

 


Source: VentureBeat

Header image courtesy of Estimote’s YouTube Video

Gimbal Partners With HMN To Roll Out Beacons For Medical Centers

What Happened
Gimbal is teaming up with Health Media Network (HMN) to bring beacons to medical centers and doctors’ offices. HMN’s digital display platform, currently serving over 12,000 medical facilities across the country, customizes and targets content for 30 specialty health networks. With this partnership, Gimbal beacons will bring geofencing solutions around medical facilities to HMN’s existing digital displays, enabling targeted messaging between healthcare brands and patients.

What Brands Need To Do
This new beacon program enables wellness and pharmaceutical brands to tap into the power of targeted messaging at a crucial time in patients’ healthcare journeys. With the beacons in place, this partnership also opens up the possibility of beacon-triggered mobile messaging in doctors’ offices, which, provided that HMN partners with the right apps to deliver the messages, could bring the communication between brands and patients to a more intimate and effective level.


Source: GeoMarketing

Steve Madden’s First App Blends Commerce And Content

What Happened
Fashion retailer Steve Madden has launched its first mobile app to reach shoe shoppers on their smartphones as it aims to drive more store visits and improve its digital conversions. Developed by GPShopper and launched on April 16, the app combines generic ecommerce features commonly seen in mobile apps from retailers – such as support for mobile payments – with branded content from Steve Madden’s lifestyle magazine. The company hopes this integration will provide a context for its products and offer customers some extra value with its editorial content rather than just pushing for sales. Moreover, the app can also send opted-in consumers push notifications on deals and promotions when they are close to a Steve Madden store.

What Retailers Need To Do
With more and more consumers choosing the convenience of online shopping over visiting physical stores, retailers are increasingly taking an omnichannel approach to reach shoppers on all platforms, especially on mobile. Steve Madden’s new app is illustrative of an emerging trend where retailers turn to branded content to inform customers of their products and build brand affinity. L’Oreal, for example, is running content site Fab that even covers products from competitors in order to earn the attention of beauty and makeup customers.  Besides the content strategy, retailers can also consider using proximity technology to drive store traffic.

For more information on how retailers can connect with shoppers with an omnichannel approach  throughout the purchase journey, check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.

 


Source: DIgiday

Google’s Eddystone Beacons Deployed For Buses In London

What Happened
Google introduced its own beacon protocol named Eddystone last July to compete with Apple’s iBeacon, and now it is finally being tested in the real world. Proxama, a UK-based mobile commerce company partnered with out-of-home advertising firm Exterion Media to create the MyStop project, which marks “the world’s first deployment of a Physical Web consumer engagement experience.” Launched this month in London, this project equipped a hundred buses with Eddystone beacons that send out URL-based notifications to nearby smartphone users with the Chrome browser installed on their phones. Upon tapping, the notifications will open a web-based app that provide real-time route updates and other relevant information.

What Brands Need To Do
While this deployment doesn’t currently include any ad opportunities, the creators reportedly plan to add related advertising eventually. Nevertheless, this project showcases an interesting use case for beacon-based proximity technology that goes beyond its usual usage in the retail environment. Brands seeking to connect with local consumers at a hyperlocal level should certainly keep this example in mind when developing location-based marketing campaigns.

 


Source: Marketing Land

Google Adds Beacon-Detecting Capability To Chrome App

What Happened
Last July, Google launched its own beacon initiative Eddystone to compete with Apple’s iBeacon, and now it is expanding the reach of its beacons by adding the capability of recognizing and interacting with nearby beacons to its Chrome browser apps. Starting with version 49, currently in beta, Chrome for Android will be able to read and interact with these Eddystone beacons.

What Brands Need To Do
With this addition, stores employing beacons will be able to reach a larger user base of devices that can detect and communicate with beacons, which has become an increasingly popular tool among retailers to provide product information and value offers to customers in store or retarget them online later. For more details on how brands can utilize beacons to improve shopping experience and reach more customers, check out the Boundless Retail section in our new Outlook 2016 here.

 


Source: 9to5 Google

Image courtesy of Google Developer Blog

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

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