The term beacon is often used to describe something that guides something else.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a it as “ a strong light that can be seen from far away and that is used to help guide ships, airplanes, etc.”  This terminology is becoming well known in business marketing as well. A beacon, in this sense, is a small inexpensive device that can be strategically placed around a store. Through Bluetooth technology, the beacons are able to communicate with in store shoppers’ smartphones.  These little gadgets can guide customers to a better shopping experience – they are programmable to transmit various messages to customers’ smartphones with reminders such as to get points on a loyalty card or provide the customer with a coupon for a percentage off of her purchase. This guidance often translates into more in store spending by the customer.

A great example of the effectiveness of beacon marketing is the beauty supply store Sephora who has been experimenting with the use of beacons combined with a mobile wallet, and is obtaining great results. Their beacons notify customers to use their loyalty card, the Beauty Insider, as well as offer in store experiences such as a mini-makeover.  Beacons can be programmed to cast throughout the store or only set up in specific aisles to move product that has been in inventory for too long.
Beacons and mobile wallets are a winning combination for business marketing.

The beacon can direct the customer experience with tailored messages, and the mobile wallet makes it easy for customers to pay for purchases.

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay are all services that connect to mobile wallets. Having one of these services means the customer does not need their credit card on hand to make a purchase. It’s convenience at its finest!

Using Beacon Marketing technology is a great way to market your business.

However, there are some drawbacks to overcome. For example, while most people carry their smartphone with them everywhere, not everyone has the Bluetooth feature turned on. This is the technology primarily used by beacons to transmit messages, so a phone will not receive a message if Bluetooth is turned off. Also, there are several steps customers have to take to “opt in” to the messages, and studies show customers will only do this for businesses for which they feel loyal and positive about or those that they feel will provide them value.  In addition, businesses have to properly gauge the saturation point when “enough is enough.” Beacons should be a gentle guide, not an overwhelming experience where customers feel they are receiving too many messages.  Studies have shown that “oversharing” is great way to loose customers!

The advantages of Beacon Marketing, however, are numerous.

Many retailers report increases in sales as a direct result of beacon based marketing. Smartphones have become so commonplace these days that using them as a component of a business marketing plan just makes sense. Also, using this technology allows businesses to track important marketing data and create reports. Businesses will be able to see which messages are working and which aren’t.
Not all payment solutions offer the capability of mobile wallet interactions to their merchants. Bankcard Brokers does, and is able to set your business up with many different options in this area. Bankcard Brokers can set businesses up with Apple Pay and other mobile wallets and help get the ball rolling on a comprehensive business marketing plan using beacons.  Contact Bankcard Brokers today to get the best rates and service for all of your payment processing needs.

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