By Chuck Martin, Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk.
Even though retailers have been talking about and testing beacons for many months, this is just the tip of the massive beacon iceberg.
Beacons are going to be big because they’re starting to drive results. In the opening keynote at the annual MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference in New York yesterday, Ryan Craver, SVP and chief of staff at Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, noted that beacons are not yet being massively used by shoppers.
Lord & Taylor was the first major retailer to start a North American beacon deployment, as MediaPost.com wrote about at the time (Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay Go Big on Beacons).
While mobile shoppers are likely unaware of beacons, they can be made aware that a retailer desires to interact with them as they receive a text message invitation when they enter a store. These invitations are about to become much more widespread as beacons proliferate at malls and stores everywhere.
For example, major mall owner Simon is in the process of launching the location-based technology in more than 200 malls, Sean Trepeta, president of Mobiquity, told me at the conference yesterday. His company targets the beacons for the common areas of the malls.
The nationwide beacon deployment by Hillshire Brands found that purchase intent for a promoted sausage increased 20 times, Chris Hiland, chief strategy officer of BPN, noted in his OMMA mCommerce presentation yesterday.
That program is now going to be extended to the Jimmy Dean brand.
Beacons were recently installed at about 100 stores on Regent Street in London, with advertising on the sides of double-decker buses that run along the street promoting the Regent Street app.
It turns out that more than half of the people who download the app use it before they actually go at the store, Henry Lawson, CEO of Autograph, the company behind that beacon rollout, told me yesterday.
They have other impressive, up-side stats.
The point is that those using beacons – with sensible messaging, I must note – are seeing positive results.
And they aren’t the only people noticing those results.