How Beacons are Transforming Today’s Shopper

Bluetooth technology is altering the in-store shopping experience. We’re all guilty of signing up for email lists to receive promotions and searching for coupons on our smartphones at the checkout line.  Now, retailers are making it even easier for us to save a few dollars and speed up the process, by installing beacons in their stores, on shelves and at end-caps.

Beacons are devices that use Bluetooth technology to connect with shoppers’ smart phones while they are in-store. By simply downloading an app, targeted coupons and offers, additional product information, ratings and reviews are sent to the shopper, based on their movement through the store and proximity to items on promotion. With multiple beacons placed around the store, retailers can monitor their customers’ movements around the store, items they pick up, and follow their path to purchase.

GameStop is one of the newest retailers to introduce beacons into their marketing strategy. Through their app, they are pushing out real time promotions and product details to customers while they are in the store browsing, in hopes to fight against the online market place and showrooming. They want to eliminate the need for additional online research on products, to save their shoppers additional time and effort, and to add that same benefits  of shopping that a customer gets online, into the store. The retailer is also able to gather information on their shoppers before the point of sale, creating a detailed diagram of their perfect customer to form their marketing strategies around..

Hudson’s Bay Co, too is installing beacons into a number of their Lord & Taylor department stores, to narrow down which department of the store their shoppers are in and send ads directly to the phones of their shoppers who have installed their app.

CPG companies are making good use of beacons as well- McCormick & Co’s Zatarain brand is among the first of consumer goods brands to utilize beacon technology.  Using their app, customers can enable grocery list reminders, tap to get recipes or directions in-store to product locations,  earn loyalty points for purchasing McCormick & Co brand products, and also receive coupons and promotions.

Getting shoppers to download the apps, to sync up with the beacons while they are shopping is the next challenge retailers and CPG companies will face; however with savings appearing almost instantly as the shopper walks down the aisle it shouldn’t be too hard to overcome.


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Seth Nagle, Senior Marketing Manager at RW3 Technologies understands the power of innovation but also its limitations. Attending Salve Regina in New England, starting his career in Silicon Valley, and now living in Austin, Texas; Seth provides a unique tech perspective to a complex CPG and Retail Grocery Industry that is in constant disruption.

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