woman-shopping-beaconsRetail’s use of beacons is nothing new. But what is new is combining beacon technology with contextual marketing to get people back into retail stores and making purchases. With over 80% of consumers making purchasing decisions in-store, and often in aisle, developing a contextual marketing program along with beacon technology is the smart way to go.

Using beacons in a retail environment and not tying it to marketing is a waste of time and money. If you send out a coupon to a consumer based solely on the proximity to an item, and only that item, you are bound to fail. A better approach is to tie that offer into larger marketing objectives and use solid data to customize it.

How a traditional publisher is encouraging in-store shopping

An even better and possibly more innovative approach is being used by Elle magazine.

According to Kevin O’Malley, Elle’s Senior VP and Publisher:

The single, most universal request I hear from every advertiser, whether it’s luxury, beauty or fast fashion, is, ‘Help us drive retail store traffic.’ Everyone wants more people in stores — and that’s not necessarily new — but right now, retailers are seeing a fall off more than ever.

To solve this problem, Elle created the ShopNow program for readers. ShopNow is a curated collection of products by the editors of Elle. The program works alongside ShopAdvisor’s proximity service to determine when a potential customer is near a curated product in-store and RetailMeNot’s mobile couponing app to push out a targeted offer.

So far the results have been positive for retailers. And customers are enjoying the experience of receiving a curated and exclusive offer so much that partnerships like this could become the norm to keep customers coming back into retail stores to make purchases.

By combining beacon technology with contextual marketing, retailers can not only increase in-store purchases but learn more about their customers to create an even more valuable shopping experience. Some of the benefits of this could be:

  • The ability to re-target customers based on purchases
  • Increase brand awareness and loyalty
  • Provide better in-store customer service

Obviously, the largest benefit will be increasing revenue by bringing customers back into retail stores.

Need help developing a beacon strategy that utilizes contextual marketing? Contact us.