Beacons and Why I LOVE Them

  • Remember back in the day when you would meet someone you ‘liked’ and your palms got sweaty, your heart started to race and you got butterflies in your stomach? That old high school crush; I’m sure everyone had at least one.

    These days I get excited about new technology, call me a nerd but; is it possible to have a ‘tech crush’? Cause I think I do.

    Beacons…sigh…these little guys are just too cute for words, and can do so much!
    This is the newest technology in Proximity Marketing and for those of you who haven’t heard of these…

    This is what They are

    Beacons are small devices that are battery operated or can be plugged into any USB port. They implement battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth wireless technology to send out a signal, providing location-based information directly to smartphones or tablets.

    Beacons are small enough to attach to a wall or counter top. And they are about to revolutionize how retailers, event organizers, transit systems, enterprises, and educational institutions communicate with people and their smartphones. Like I said, they can do so much.

    This is how They work

    Picture a lighthouse sending out a consistent signal, every few seconds. Just like that, Beacons transmit a soundless, invisible signal that can be picked up by your mobile device within 30 feet. You must have an app or mobile wallet pass installed on your smartphone in order for beacons to communicate with you, but when you do; a whole new world of possibilities emerge.

    This is why I Love them

    I love being notified about deals just like any savvy shopper; but so much so that at one point I had signed up to ALL of the Group buy sites like; Groupon, Dealfind, Buytopia…I mean ALL of them. Everyday my inbox was stuffed full of amazing merchandise and services -at amazing prices, that of course, I would never get around to actually buying. Yes, I went a little crazy.

    But I’m the type of girl that has weekly coupons emailed directly to my inbox, I comparison shop, I wait for a sale to buy… pretty much anything. And I ALWAYS check the grocery store flyers before shopping. When I say I love deals, that’s the #truth.

    So imagine how amazing it would it be  for me to go into a store and get notifications directly to my phone about coupons, deals, weekly and daily specials?

    A system of strategically placed beacons can do this, and then some. I picture myself moving through the fresh produce section at my local grocery store and my phone bleeps as I pass the blueberries: They are .79 c a pint, TODAY ONLY. Am I grabbing some? You better believe it!

    What if I walk by the meat department and my phone bleeps: Lean Ground beef $2.49 a pound. I would make a split second decision to fire up the grill and make Hamburgers that night. That’s right; it’s all about what’s fresh, hot and on sale. And it’s the cute, little beacon nestled under the counter in each department that told me about all of these amazing specials!

    Or think: ‘department store’, which can be a tedious chore-even for an experienced shopper. Navigating from floor to floor and through countless aisles of merchandise -searching desperately for a store clerk to assist in finding and pricing items: Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, all come to mind here. Imagine walking into a store like this and your phone is your very own “store clerk”? It will give you turn by turn directions to locate products, notify you as you move from department to department letting you know what’s on sale, the prices and information about items as you pass them, making your stop at Walmart that much faster and more convenient. Can we say “happy shopper”? It’s a fact that happy people spend more money, so why doesn’t every retailer have beacons yet? There is definitely an opportunity here.

    What about the JC Pennys, Bloomingdales, or big shopping malls of the world? These large retailers should be the first in line for Beacon technology, because as we know with the changing technology of smartphones and mobile devices, marketing must change too. If Customers are going mobile, they definitely  should, because the single most important factor for any long-term, profitable business is ultimate customer loyalty. The beacon builds loyalty by giving busy consumers an effortless shopping experience.

    I love Beacons because of what they can do for my day; give me time and save me money. That’s all I ask. Wouldn’t anyone?

    Well, it’s all possible now with my new ‘tech crush': the sweet, little Beacon.

    Wait there’s more! I will tell you the best ways to use them with your Local Pass system, next week.
    But first  let me ask you; has anyone used these before and does anyone else share my ‘tech-crush’?