Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling — to put it mildly. Hundreds of malls are closing every year. But retailers are fighting back. Next time you visit a retail store, or fast food restaurant, you may get a prompt from the latest new mobile technology — beacons! Beacon technology allows notifications through Bluetooth enabled devices. The beacon technology can be used to identify deals or highlight locations of sales or specials. HuntAR Corp. is currently using beacons for notifications and experiences using Augment Reality.
Beacons are tiny battery-operated radio transmitters that emit a Bluetooth signal to smartphones within a certain range. The range can be adjusted in each Bluetooth device. According to Unacast’s latest report, “beacon deployments are on track to reach 400 million deployed by 2020.” For retail, the top applications include coupons, sales prompts and pure data collection. The beacons could track movements through a retail store giving feedback on how people navigate a retail location.
Beacons provide opportunities for in-store personalized experiences. They’re bridges that link brick-and-mortar retailers with customers glued to their phones. The goal for retailers like Rite Aid or Target is real-time personalized engagement in an actual store with actual merchandise.
This is brick-and-mortar retailers fighting e-businesses. The retail store needs to become more of an experience. Shoppers need to be entertained and engaged for a more robust shopping experience.