There are plenty of things to consider when running an e-commerce store. Design, content, videos, product descriptions, checkout forms – the list is endless. But one thing you might not have thought about just yet is beacons – and these little beauties actually have the ability to become your store’s brand new best buddy.
What Are Beacons?
In a nutshell, beacons are Bluetooth connections that allow stores to communicate with customers who are using electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets. This means you can talk to your customers about everything your store has to offer without even needing to open your mouth or send a message. Fairly nifty, huh? Pretty much every shopper these days is utilising smartphone or tablet technology on a day-to-day basis, which means beacons have the ability to reach a wide and diverse audience of shoppers.
How Can Beacons Help E-commerce?
Physical retail stores can benefit from beacons, with the technology tracking the movements of the customer to determine which part of the shop they’re browsing in and sending them related information that might interest them. But beacons also work for stores with a digital presence, too. If you have both a physical and digital store, then beacons can prove to be a major asset.
If a customer repeatedly walks down a certain aisle in a physical store but mulls over the products rather than making purchases, beacons can detect this behaviour and provide you – the store owner – with invaluable shopping habit information. If the beacons reveal that a particular person is strolling past, say, a kitchen utensils aisle on a regular basis, you can send them a link to your e-commerce store showing them where they can get the best deals on products in this category. They might not be purchasing products in-store, but they now have the opportunity to visit your e-commerce shop online and get the items they’ve been mulling over for a cheaper price.
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Corporate giant Apple are ahead of the game and are already utilising beacon technology. Given their reputation in the world of retail (both online and offline), it’s definitely in your best interest to follow one of their practices. Beacons cost very little and use up minimal battery life, making them a cost-effective way to keep up with the big competitors in the marketplace and offer new ways for your customers to continue engaging with your store.
If you’re concerned about beacons being intrusive in any way – don’t be. Customers have to willingly engage with beacon technology in order to take advantage of it, which means switching on their Bluetooth and downloading an app that allows it to run effectively. Studies into beacons have already proven that more and more customers are happily engaging with this technology and have found that it has ultimately enriched their overall shopping experience.
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