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My colleague Helen recently blogged about beacons, citing some recent research from Google exploring how a more open approach to managing beacons could lead to an explosion in their use this year – especially for delivering omni-channel retail solutions.
I saw a very recent research report that talked to 1,700 retail executives and explored their approach to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the use of IoT technologies, such as beacons. 70% of retail executives in this study said that beacons will be a part of their strategy for location-based marketing by 2021 so beacons are definitely a technology to watch – almost three-quarters of retailers are exploring how to use them.
72% of the executives interviewed said that this push for location-awareness is not just for customers – it is focused on the stock. By introducing better location-awareness throughout the supply chain, they can improve the flow of stock from producer to distribution centre to store – and to the customer’s home. More complex omni-channel delivery options mean that effective supply chain management is critical.
However, 75% of the executives questioned said that they feel beacons will be important for letting them know exactly which customers are in-store and where. This will allow them to offer deals and recommendations in real-time, knowing for example, that the customer has been spending more than a minute in front of a product.
Tracking the complete footpath of customers through the store will also give insights into how stores can be improved. The automation of this process in particular can reveal insights into what customers are really looking for, rather than just what they answer in surveys.
I think that this level of support for beacons is extremely interesting and gives us some guidance on where to focus future retail omni-channel activities – both in the store and in the supply chain. Please leave a comment with your own thoughts or get in touch on LinkedIn.