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Carrefour’s 400pc mobile app engagement jump proves beacons’ supermarket potency

Multinational retailer Carrefour recently saw a 400 percent increase in mobile application engagement thanks to beacons, pointing to the technology’s ability to significantly influence shoppers when paired with mobile coupons in a supermarket setting.

Carrefour teamed up with beacon provider to roll out the technology in-store and send push notifications to consumers upon arrival, suggest products based on purchases made in the past and also display relevant coupons. In a seven-month period, the brand’s number of app users skyrocketed by 600 percent, while in-app time increased 400 percent, which fueled additional sales and streamlined shopping experiences.

“Becoming a part of the IoT is increasingly crucial for brands to provide value to their customers and learn more about them at the same time,” said Trevor Longino, head of marketing and public relations at, Krakow, Poland. “Thanks to beacon technology, a customer can locate a product immediately, receive services automatically, and pay instantly.

“Knowing exactly where their customers are, retailers are able to reach shoppers and offer them deals when it matters,” he said. “The difference between offerings that are made right in front of the store or in it, and those sent elsewhere, is stunning.

“Based on information collected in white papers like our recent publication on, we’ve seen that conversion rates are more than 16x higher than traditional mobile advertising when context and proximity are factored in. There is literally no other marketing channel that enables brand engagement with customers and boosts revenue quickly and inexpensively.”

Adding proximity context
Carrefour, which has offered mobile apps since 2012, aimed to make the shopping experience easier for customers and more efficient by enabling them to locate new stores and check product prices via their smartphones. This prompted the brand to tap beacon technology in October 2014.

Carrefour’s agency partner, Pixels Trade, deployed 50 of’s beacons in a Tunisian store and integrated the store app with’s API.

Consumers were able to receive welcome messages, product recommendations and mobile coupons. In-app product recommendations have been proven to drive sales, especially for time-strapped consumers who may have difficulty making decisions. has also teamed up with other major brands to incorporate beacon technology into storefronts in a bid to drive sales.

McDonald’s recently leveraged a new proximity marketing strategy powered by at 15 McD Cafés in Istanbul, Turkey, sending beacon-enabled promotions to customers within its venues via a mobile application, resulting in a conversion rate of 20 percent (see story).

“Carrefour’s use case proves that delivering value in a manner that is relevant is critical to customers,” Mr. Longino said. “By adding just one new feature— beacons–to an already existing application, they increased their engagement rate 400 percent.

“Every retailer should look at that as a clarion call that if they don’t get cracking with proximity integration soon, they will find that they aren’t able to compete with the businesses that have.”

Significant results
Carrefour saw its rate of sign-ups for its app shoot up nearly overnight.

The proximity data was able to offer Carrefour invaluable information about where its customers traveled in the store, including which sections were most popular and which users lingered nearby for longer periods of time.

By tracing what order shoppers visit specific areas, Carrefour is then able to improve its store displays and offerings to increase profitability and attain more customer loyalty.

Supermarkets are one of the best-suited locations to beacon technology and geofencing, as consumers are constantly searching for product offers and weekly coupons on their smartphones. Other consumers who have limited time also appreciate viewing in-app product locations and maps to easily locate desired items.

“The future of mobile couponing relies on smart context, which requires real-time proximity data, and beacon-based systems are currently the leading technology in terms of cost, flexibility, and longevity,” Mr. Longino said. “As we see more brands jumping on the proximity bandwagon, customer expectations are rising.

“Beacon technology gives retailers a unique chance to understand their clients better and level up their marketing campaigns with more creative and engaging content driving ROI, customer value and even the holy grail of retail: customer loyalty.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York