iBeacon is Apple’s implementation of Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology to create a different way of providing location-based information and services to iPhones and other iOS devices. iBeacon arrived in iOS7, which means it works with iPhone 4s or later, iPad (third generation and onwards) iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation or later). It’s worth noting the same BLE technology is also compatible with Android 4.3. and above. (1)
How does it work?
The beacons themselves are small, cheap Bluetooth transmitters. Apps installed on your iPhone listen out for the signal transmitted by these beacons and respond accordingly when the phone comes into range.
For example, if you pass a beacon in a shop, the retailer’s app (assuming you have it installed) could display a special offer alert for you. On a visit to a museum, the museum’s app would provide information about the closest display, using your distance from beacons placed near exhibits to work out your position. As such iBeacon could be a much better option for in-door mapping – which GPS struggles with.
Stats about iBeacons and Location Marketing
- The value of in-store retail sales influenced by beacon-triggered messages in the United States in 2015 and 2016 was $4.1 billion.
- In 2016, an extraordinary $40 billion increase is estimated. Statista suggests that beacon messages will trigger retail sales worth $44.4 billion in the US.
- Men are more likely than women to make a purchase based on personalized advertising they saw on an in-store beacon or display.
- Among responding male internet users aged between 18 and 34 years, 91% said they were influenced by personalized in-store advertising. Female internet users influenced by in-store beacon tech amounted to 76%.
- More than 42% of companies already have proximity marketing (such as beacons and geolocation) in place. 39% say they will implement it in the next three years. 18.6% say they have no plans for beacons.
- The future plans for beacon technology integration is trailing in popularity behind online basket comparison (42%), in-store Wi-Fi (54.3%), scan-and-go (59.3%) in-store bookmarking (62.8%).
- 46% of retailers have launched beacon programs in 2015, up from 15% in 2014.
- 71% retailers are able to track and understand customers’ buying patterns using beacons.
- 65% feel they are able to target customers down to the aisle level.
- 59% feel customers are more engaged in the store.
- 53% retailers feel they are able to create more relevant and compelling offers in the store.
- 24% retailers saw an increase in sales.
- 24% retailers saw an increase in offer redemption.
- 82% of customers make purchase decisions in-store.
- By 2018, the beacon installed base will consist of 4.5 million active beacons overall, with 3.5 million of these in use by retailers.
- Globally, it’s estimated that 570 million Android and Apple smartphones are compatible with Bluetooth low energy (BLE), the signal used by beacons to trigger smartphone apps. This is one-third of the smartphone installed base. (2)
iBeacon Use Cases in Retail (3)
Sizeer boosts customer loyalty
Sizeer is a multibrand street fashion chain with 14+ stores in East-Central Europe countries. In order to increase engagement and retention of almost 500,000 customers using the brand’s loyalty club, Sizeer implemented proximity into its strategy and launched a beacon-enabled loyalty app, SizeerClub. Beacons deployed at all Sizeer’s stores notify users about ongoing promotions, trigger personalized offers, and serve information about products that a customer is looking at.
HotSpot turns 30% of its users into local stores’ visitors
HotSpot is a Canadian parking solution that basically does two things: help drivers solve their parking problems and drive foot traffic into brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants. It enables users to easily top up parking time through a mobile app anywhere they are—thanks to that, they don’t have to worry about getting parking tickets and can enjoy their hassle-free shopping. And in order to enhance the shopping experience even more, HotSpot notifies its users about interesting venues and promotions nearby and once they walk in, they can count on VIP service and perks, such as free parking top up. As a result, 30% of HotSpot users who park near a HotSpot-enabled location visit it and then stays there 13% longer than other visitors.
StampMe increases loyalty and drives people to stores
StampMe is a platform that enables businesses to setup and run loyalty programs and consumers to keep all their virtual loyalty cards in one app. Beacons located at venues help businesses get more out of the programs because they invite customers and StampMe users to come by.
Vulcano Buono gamifies malls with beacons
Beacons at Vulcano Buono, a big shopping center in Italy, provide app users with everything they need while shopping on site—coupons to use at boutiques they walk by, promotions at restaurants nearby, or upcoming movies at a movie theater they’re approaching. Every time a user interacts with beacon-triggered content in a dedicated app by QuiCon, he or she gets points. A user with the highest score at a given period of time wins a prize.
- What is Apple iBeacon? Here’s what you need to know, http://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-apple-ibeacon-heres-what-you-need-to-know/
- 17 fascinating stats about beacons and location marketing, https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/04/27/xx-fascinating-stats-about-beacons-and-location-marketing/
- Beacon use cases, https://kontakt.io/use-cases/retail/