The e-commerce and retail sector is transforming at a fast pace and so are the methods we use for advertising/attracting the customers in these domains. Among all the newly-arriving technologies, beacons and push notifications look most promising. The online and offline retail sector is surely going to leverage a lot from these if utilized correctly. But as the e-commerce and offline sellers are mostly naive to these terms, the most buzzing question you will hear these days is – Are these two any good for our business?
Are you thinking the same?
Well, we are going to give you all the required information on these two, in order to let you make your mind on whether or not these technologies can help you in making big difference in your market.
Let’s begin with a brief introduction of both:
Beacon is a small low-cost wireless sensing device that transmits radio signals using bluetooth technology. It is a boon to the mobile e-commerce sector. Check out this example to understand it better:
You are walking into a bakery with your smartphone or tablet and this bakery has activated beacons in their store. Once you enter the beacons’ zone, the beacon will send you special promotions, coupons, recommendations, etc on your smartphone via bakery app (assuming you have previously downloaded their app).
Now tel, if you are a traveler or a new person or just a passing by, who liked this offer, won’t you stop to buy their cookies (or whatever you like)?
Of course, you will.
In short – with beacons, any offline business can increase its product/service selling potential to multiple times. It’s a revolutionized way of marketing the products nowadays. Some ventures might require support for exiting a business.
A push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile or web-enabled device. Previously, only app publishers were able to send them to their users. Users don’t have to be in the app or using their devices to receive them.
With the emergence of web-based push notifications, the feature has become more powerful. As we know that your audience has cluttered its phone with numerous mobile apps already, it is tough to please them to install a new app. But, at the same time, everyone has browsers installed on their phones and computer systems. Web push notifications can be sent through web apps. Isn’t it revolutionary? It can help the sellers, small business owners and bloggers reach a wider audience easily.
As you are aware of what beacons do and how mobile and web push notifications work, let us see how these technologies are being loved by e-commerce, m-commerce, retail sector, offline stores, small businesses, and service providers.
The bright side of beacons: benefits of deploying it at your marketing tasks
There are numerous benefits to adopt beacon technology as it reduces the gap between the customer & the seller and maintains a healthy relationship. We are explaining a few here:
- Helps connect the potential customers.
Not every passing by your store will get these notifications, but your app users and subscribers only. It implies that these people are already interested in your services. So, if you will remind them of your services, products, offers or discounts, these potential customers are more likely to listen to you. By narrowing the target list, beacons increase the chances of conversion. Messages will get delivered to various devices such as mobile phones, laptops, desktops & tablets.
- Engages people as per their interest.
Beacons are triggered by events, such as entering in a beacon-enabled area. It notifies users about the latest contents or offers, based on the previous choices made by them. It means it understands what your users like (provided you have customized it to work that way). As it can take care of users’ interests, it surely will be able to engage your audience better.
- Provides better guidance to customers.
In the heap of products and queues of categories to go through, a customer may feel baffled if not provided good support. With beacons, this issue is finally resolved. On the basis of the customer’s movement in the store, you can send product suggestions to your buyers. Isn’t it great?
- A great way to get user insights.
With beacon, retailers can analyze on what day of the week, at what time shoppers are more likely to download and use certain coupons and what items they will purchase on their next trip. Think about it. These insights can help your business a lot. Using beacon technology, you can track the customer shopping habits and preferences through which you can develop long-term customer loyalty and more engaging shopping experience as well.
- Power of personalization: Excellent overall in-store experience.
Big e-commerce stores enable smart suggestions, which tracks the user’s previous choices or product views to help them make new choices easily. In the same way, beacon technology can do this in the context of brick-and-mortar stores. It allows entrepreneurs to deliver personalized, location-based messages to customers. Through this device, you can also analyze customer’s deals, previous preferences, coupons and shopping habits. It helps in developing long-term loyalty too.
- Instant and cheap
iBeacons or beacons deliver your messages in real-time. As compared to other technologies, beacon technology is affordable to adopt. This technology is easier to set-up and installs it without having any risk.
- No privacy concerns
The service gets enabled after a user permits. If the user is not allowing your app to access their location-based information, beacons can’t have them. Hence, we are not forcing any notification/marketed offer/information on the users. Also, users need not give the app access any personal information but just location. So, they need not worry about any information compromisation through beacons.
- They make a great advertising tool
Gone are those days when retailers use the TV, radio for their advertisement. Nowadays, beacon can help you track the exact location of a user and send offers various services & promotes your products. The more innovative you’ll go, the more benefits you will bag.
The advanced version: iBeacon
Apple’s new technology, which works exactly similar to beacons but uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signals to reduces the energy being consumed by the engaged devices. The technology is even cheaper to use than classic bluetooth.
The limitations of using beacons
With so many advantages, there come some limitations, which are:
- The low range of beacons.
- Essentiality of having a mobile app.
- The user device must have bluetooth enabled to make a connection.
Though you can set multiple devices within your store to increase the range of your beacon network to some extent. But is it even needed? We mean, will you ever want to invite users from 50km away, just to get a cold-drink refill at 50% off?
Web or mobile push notifications make more sense in long-range (or even short-range scenarios). While beacon promises to deliver a great in-store experience, push notifications also keep your users connected to you efficiently.
What can push notifications (web and mobile) do for you?
Push notifications are super-useful, until and unless you don’t overuse them to irritate your customers. A survey by responsys has revealed that more than 67% of people from the age group 18-34 years have enabled push notifications on their mobile devices. The reason is simple. Push notifications are helpful and deliver the information to users, the way they want.
Not sure about their efficiency?
Push notifications are 50% more likely to be opened in comparison to emails, which are considered a great method of targeting users. The click-through rate is double too. Here is what you can do with it:
- Send updates/offers
Almost everyone checks his/her phone on getting up in the morning these days. And notifications are the first to get their attention. By sending something relevant or updating users about what’s new for them, you may engage people definitely.
Push notifications informs users of new information related to an app, providing relevant & valuable updates to customers, even when the app is closed.
- Get leads
These notifications let you redirect users to the particular site and provide any information which you want, making it a great way of capturing leads.
Ping the readers, when a new post is added. If they feel connected, they will automatically engage to your content
You are allowed to send custom notifications, notifications for the custom posts and targeting advertisements. Push notifications can also be used for remarketing of products if you are tracking your users’ actions. You can set the custom text for the notification and check how many people engaged to it. Thus, it lets you choose the future marketing strategy too.
How to increase brand reach, value, engagement, and sales using push notifications?
Remember one thing:
Users are capable of switching notifications on/off whenever they want.
If you will keep sending not-so-interesting offers or content to them, they will simply show you the door. So, it is important that you use push notifications correctly. A few ways of doing the same are:
- Make an engaging title, which does not lie. [Hint: Clickbait are spoilers only].
- Keep the notifications sarcastic or funny sometimes. People like these the most.
- It is important that you send the notification to your users if they have ordered something. Alongside, tell them about the process being made on their order, delivery and arrival notifications and so on. It increases customers’ trust and level of satisfaction.
- Customize your notifications on the basis of users’ location.
- Send deals, saying it’ll end soon. Tell the buyers the sale is for a certain time period. It increases users’ engagement with your notification if they are interested.
- Use web push notifications.It is not necessary that all your users have installed your app. These notifications are delivered through mobile/web browsers. Keeping them mobile-friendly will be like adding icing on the cake!
- Send informative posts sometimes, just to increase customer awareness.
- Reminders for incomplete orders works the best. Try them too!
Need more information on push notifications, beacons, and ibeacons or want to make their best use for your business? Ask Techechelons for consultation or services. Just comment below or contact us directly.