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Beacons can contribute to 24pc sales increase over control: report

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday firmly behind us, some of the most intriguing findings involved the surging prominence of beacon technology in bricks-and-mortar presences, according to a new report from inMarket.

The company, which provides a beacon platform that touts a reach of over 50 million monthly active app users, reported record numbers in mobile reliance this Black Friday, with more than 84 percent of shoppers using their mobile devices inside stores. The research is a good foundation for further advancement in the field of beacon technology—one of the few remaining ligaments between two retail arenas that have diverged drastically since the rise of mobile commerce.

“Convergence is a major theme and the blending of online/offline experiences will certainly accelerate over the next few years,” said Dave Heinzinger, vice president of communications at inMarket. “With beacons, stores are actually becoming a bit more like e-commerce in the way they personalize and serve customers in real-time.

“We’re helping retail become a bit more like their digital counterparts through a better understanding of their in-store audience.”

Beacon technology
The report used inMarket’s own successes in deploying beacon technology as the basis for their findings. The company claims to have influenced $14.5 billion in consumer spending in physical stores during this year’s Black Friday weekend, as mobile reliance hit another all-time high.

Beacon detections for the platform were up 370 percent on Black Friday 2016 over last year, which is unsurprising, as 55 percent of shoppers using their phones specifically to aid their purchase decisions. In this context, beacon technology provides the opportunity for a mobile moment that anchors the bricks-and-mortar experience.

inMarket also experienced a 223 percent growth in clients on its beacon platform in 2016 versus 2015, including over 200 brands and retailers such as Heineken, Clorox, Energizer and Rite Aid leveraging beacon technology through the firm. Johnsonville Foods, a sausage company headquartered in Wisconsin, benefitted from a shopping 24 percent sales lift over control stores that did not use beacon technology this Black Friday weekend.

Mobile moments
Beacon technology is still a burgeoning field; within a marketing landscape still focused on mastering the nuances of mcommerce, augments to physical presences can become an afterthought. Still, the few retailers that have decided to experiment with it have seen promising results.

American honey producer Sue Bee Honey recently had a measure of success in an experiment with inMarket’s beacon technology (see story).

And before Halloween, Coca-Cola partnered with Dollar General to produce actionable in-store content through the soda brand’s beacon technology, combining it with a themed social campaign to allow for multiple avenues of consumer engagement.

“70% of brand decisions are still made inside the store, so reaching shoppers at this critical moment can have a huge impact,” Mr.Heinzinger said. “At inMarket, we have the hardware infrastructure at retail and most importantly, the scale of 50MM verified app users per month—so for brands, leveraging beacons at scale is easier than ever before.”