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Beacon Technology: Real Time Shopping Recommendations

Technology is becoming ever more integrated into our daily lives.  Smartphones are at our fingertips giving access to email, messaging, the internet and more.  Apps allow us to do everything from request a ride somewhere, to pay our bills or even turn off the lights in our home.  We can stay connected to social media, post pictures of our experiences at a second’s notice, and get alerts such as weather advisories or even emergencies like Amber Alerts.  The possibilities are endless, and on top of all the capabilities that our smartphones afford us thus far, they are constantly growing.

For example, the implementation of beacon technologies is growing steadily.  What exactly are beacon technologies?  Have you ever been walking down the street and get an alert that the store on the corner is having a sale? Or have you ever walked into a store and got an alert about a product that they carry that you’ve been researching for awhile?  This is beacon technology.  Small devices as placed in stores that basically track you.  They know who you are, what you’re interested in, and where you are.  To some this may seem a bit invasive.  Others feel that if their information is already floating about in cyberspace for the world to capture at any given moment, due to the nature of the way technology has been evolving over the years, then why not reap some benefits from companies capturing our information.  Regardless of your opinion, this certainly is a new and growing marketing ploy.  From the 50,000 beacons currently in operation, that number is expected to grow to somewhere between 5 million and 10 million in 2015.

According to a survey by Swirl, a marketing technology company that has worked with retailers such as Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay, Alex and Ani, Kenneth Cole and Timberland to deploy beacons — between July and September, 30 percent of shoppers who received a “push-ad” from an in-store beacon used that offer to buy something,  Sixty percent of shoppers opened beacon-sent messages, and over half of those surveyed said they would do more holiday shopping at the stores as a result of their beacon experience. These numbers are very promising for those hoping to implement the strategy in the near future.  Marketing is becoming ever more a part of our daily lives.