Introduced in December, Apple’s industry-leading iBeacons use Bluetooth low-energy technology to communicate with nearby mobile devices. iBeacons can send the shopper coupons and other offers while they are literally standing in your dealership. These hyper-targeted iBeacons allow you to monitor your customer’s behavior step-by-step. If she’s shopping for helmets, you can dish up a deal on the newest Shoei. If he’s browsing for oil filters, you can connect him with 20 percent off service.
Worried your customers will resist these “Big Brother” technologies? A recent study released by Swirl Networks, Inc., found that 77 percent of consumers said that they would be willing to share their location information, as long as they received enough value in return. When asked whom they would trust with their smartphone’s location data, 65 percent said their favorite retailer. By comparison, 45 percent would trust a shopping/deals app, 42 percent would trust Google, and 37 percent would trust a social app like Facebook — great news for brick and mortar retailers like you.
The ability to serve up ultra-personalized offers is enticing, but to see success with iBeacons, it’s also key to create an engaging customer experience. In April, jeweler Faberge organized a massive Easter egg hunt in New York City to support the brand’s charitable efforts. Faberge commissioned 275 huge egg sculptures and scattered them around the city. An online map guided hunters in the right direction and proximity-based iBeacon interactions rewarded participants as they virtually bagged the eggs.
While you likely won’t scatter giant eggs across your hometown, try an iBeacons-enhanced poker run or reward shoppers with mystery prizes just for shopping in-store.
Retailers large and small are beginning to incorporate iBeacons into their marketing strategies and technology providers including Swirl and Sonic Notify have gotten in on the game to offer comprehensive beacon marketing packages.
As with all trends in mobile marketing, the verdict is still out on iBeacons, but with their ability to push content to 95% of all smartphone users, this is one tech trend worth investigating.
Colleen Brousil is ARI’s director of marketing. Brousil has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!