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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Consumers receptive to beacon technology

Consumers receptive to beacon technology
Thursday April 24 2014

A new survey has found more mobile consumers would be willing to receive retailer messages via beacon technology than retailers may have first thought

Almost half (45%) of smartphone owners would be ‘very willing’ or ‘somewhat willing’ for retailers to send messages to their smartphone, according to recent research from consumer research specialist eDigitalResearch.

Location-based, direct messages have become more of a reality after Apple introduced its iBeacon, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based technology late last year. 

The researcher said beacons open up the potential for retailers to send location-based content to smartphone owners via apps as they wander past a store – as well as for the BLE 'Bluetooth Smart' standard to revolutionise the mobile payment and advertising industry.

Unsurprisingly, shoppers would most like to receive special offers and promotions, as well as discount codes, straight to their mobile. Although a handful would also be happy to be sent store or product information.

Likelihood to influence purchase decisions

Of the 1,300 smartphone owners surveyed, one third (33%) believed that personalised, direct messages sent straight to their smartphone when out shopping would ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ influence their purchase decisions, representing a huge opportunity for retailers to boost their revenue streams.

The fact that messages are transmitted through apps means that retailers also have the opportunity to personalise and tailor promotions based on previous browsing and purchase data in an attempt to increase footfall into their stores. 

A further 78% of those that would be happy to receive messages would also  be ‘extremely willing’ or ‘somewhat willing’ for retailers to use this data if it meant more personalised messages for them.

Potential to revolutionise shopping experiences

Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, commented: “Apple subtly introduced iBeacon technology into the market at the end of 2013. As retailers and brands get to grips with what it is and how it works, consumer opinion demonstrates that it could potentially revolutionise the instore and High Street shopping experience.

“We found last year that half (50%) of smartphone owners regularly shop through retail apps and have them installed on their mobiles. It opens up the potential for retailers to digitally reach outside their stores and tempt smartphone owners in, increasing footfall and, as these results demonstrate, boost their revenue streams.”

Tagged as: Beacon | Bluetooth Smart | BLE | GPS | wireless | communications | mobile | app | store | location | loyalty | personalisation | consumer | eDigitalResearch