Article in GeoMarketing
Written by David Kaplan
Talk of “enhancing the in-store experience” tends to go hand-in-hand with promoting the growth of beacons at retail location, which over the past year appear to be installed at most major stores. But a poll of 1,085 US consumers this summer by First Insight found that 70% of retail shoppers have never heard of these Bluetooth-powered devices. (Read the release.)
For digital marketing professionals and brands focused on the concepts associated with omnichannel strategies, the Internet of Things, and online-to-offline advertising , the proximity communication tools seem ubiquitous.
The most recent embrace of the devices came from Target, which is currently implementing beacons at 50 of its 1,800 US outlets. Facebook has been working since December on aligning its Place Tips app-based check-in feature with beacons for small businesses and outdoor festivals.
So if beacons are being embraced so widely by so many large players, wouldn’t it stand to reason that consumers would have taken notice and either expressed interest in turning on — or off — their smartphones’ Bluetooth receiver in response?
Not necessarily, according to our informal survey of beacon experts.
70% of consumers can’t explain electricity, either. A beacon is a piece of infrastructure that consumers never see.
The only thing a consumer should know is whether they can receive alerts, coupons and more when they’re in a store.
The real question is, “How many consumers know what location-based alerts are?”
Too few, because retailers are not offering them, waiting inexplicably as increasingly mobile customers look to be wowed by businesses on their smartphones.
Retailers need to jump in and experiment, and make sure to promote location-based alerts with physical or digital signs in-store. Then location-based marketing will soar — and 70% of consumers still won’t know what beacons are.