NACS reports on the Conexxus Annual Conference highlighting Brad Van Otterloo’s discussion on Beacons in Convenience Stores in their Bits and Bites article:
"The Conexxus Annual Conference in May demonstrated the growing momentum of the technology standards, advocacy and education group.
The energy, in part, came from the buzz around beacons, a low-cost device that communicates with smartphones through a Bluetooth signal — a possible system’s solution that will one day be as ubiquitous as scanning is in the c-store industry today.
Yet more important than the technology is the expectation that beacons will drive new sales. “Beacon technology has the potential to greatly increase in-store sales for convenience stores,” said Brad Van Otterloo, vice president of client development at Koupon Media, a Conexxus supplier member. “The ability to trigger a mobile message to a customer based on their proximity allows for content to be more relevant than ever before. Mobile coupons triggered b beacons create a sense of urgency for the customer, ultimately increasing sales.”
Another Conexxus member, Outsite Networks, Inc., is engaged in a project with more than 100 stores where consumers earn discounts for making beer purchases. The beer customer’s mobile phone interacts with the POS using beacon technology, providing manufacturers with POS transaction data that allows them to interact with consumers based on basket and basket history data. Another beacon concept — “tap beacon” — allows consumers to “invite in” manufacturers versus having content force-pushed to them. Offers or rewards can be delivered to a consumer’s mobile device by simply tapping a touchpoint, whether at the pump, in-store or off premise.
Beacon technology is a very specific tool — which comes with advantages and disadvantages — and should not be seen as a singular strategy. Otterloo shares some preliminary steps that should be part of a retailer’s mobile strategy before implementing a beacon campaign:
- First, create mobile offers within a geo-fenced area around the store. This allows c-store operators to gain insights into their customers’ behavior.
- Next, begin to implement testing campaigns with beacons on private label products. This way, retailers can adjust their own coupon offers to find the right offer on varying products.
- Now, equipped with a better understanding of customer behavior within geo-fenced and private label offers, retailers can begin integrating CPG beacon offers.
- Warning: Be aware of the “creep factor.” Do not bombard your customers with geo-targeted offers, and instead, space out triggered offers.
Beacons, thoughtfully implemented and integrated into a c-store retailer’s marketing plan, can guide customers to added purchases. The technology can keep a light shining on your customers and stores."