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In-store app use 16.5x higher for beacon message recipients: report

Shoppers who received location-based beacon messages were 19 times more likely to interact with the advertised product than those who did not receive a beacon message, according to research from inMarket released Monday.

The report is the first public release of data about the impact of beacon-based marketing on the shopping experience, according to inMarket. The report also revealed that in-store app usage was 16.5 times greater for users who received a location-based beacon message, and that shoppers who received a beacon message were 6.4 times more likely to keep an app on their phone, compared with those who did not.

“Beacons are starting to increase app usage,” said Dave Heinzinger, a spokesman for inMarket. “It’s the hottest retail technology of 2014 in a lot of ways.”

Timely content
The data from the report is significant, Mr. Heinzinger explained, because of the need for shoppers to find relevance in their apps in order to retain them on their devices.

The data was gathered over a 30-day period in April and May from a controlled sample study of 25,000 shoppers using apps enabled with inMarket’s “Mobile to Mortar” functionality. The Mobile to Mortar technology, which launched in January, is deployed through beacon-capable shopping apps that include Epicurious, Key Ring, CheckPoints, List Ease and others.

The significance of the report was that it showed that proximity marketing and geo-fencing improve interactions with advertised products, Mr. Heinzinger explained. Shoppers respond to offers that are distributed with timeliness — when the shopper is actually near the place of purchase.

Adding context
Sheryl Kingstone, director of research for Mobile Leadership Strategies at Yankee Group, said the best way for retailers and brands to engage shoppers using beacon technology is by marrying it with relevant customer data, such as data gathered through purchasing histories.

“Beacons become more valuable when you can add contextual information,” Ms. Kingstone said.

“Add intelligence to the mix, and the future is about aggregated learning regarding behaviors and preferences that can help ensure relevant interactions. Geolocation-enabled mobile platforms can completely change an experience based on proximity.”

In 2014, inMarket enabled the first beacon campaign for a CPG brand, McCormick’s Zatarain’s (see story).

In addition to some large-scale retail deployments earlier this year, Unified Grocers, a Los Angeles-based supermarket cooperative, recently added inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar beacon technology to some select West Coast stores to distribute custom coupons, loyalty rewards and shopping list reminders directly to mobile phones (see story).

Other retail deployments are in the planning stages, per inMarket’s Mr. Heinzinger.

“Timing is everything,” said Mr. Heinzinger.“Consumers are responding to timely, relevant content.”

Final Take
Mark is content director on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York