In 2015, you’ll find that there is one more channel for marketers to reach you on that most people didn’t experience previously – a message pushed to your smartphone, triggered by your proximity to a Bluetooth low-energy beacon.
While we’re used to receiving marketing messages to our mobile devices to our smartphones via the same online channels we access on our laptops – email, web page banners, and social media ads – next year will see the contextual awareness of our smartphones put to better use by marketers. Mostly, smartphones can trigger the appropriate message based on where you are.
Retailers have already hopped on the mobile app bandwagon, using them to push out deals, point shoppers to a nearby location, track loyalty points, or even make payments. Integrating location-based marketing will be the next step to take advantage of these apps and make them integral to the personalized shopping experience that will help drive higher revenues for retailers.
The right technology infrastructure already exists in Canada. Both iPhones and Android smartphones support communication with Bluetooth LE beacons. Canadians have proven avid users of loyalty programs and happily install retailer apps to access coupons and deals. Installing the actual beacons in stores is cheap – it’s the software solution to make sense of the data that is costly. But the extra revenue potential is worth it. Being able to directly market to customers segmented based on that data is a powerful opportunity.
So what retailers will we try out this type of technology first? Apple is already using it in the U.S. for its retail stores, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it in Canada. For a more homegrown effort, look to Canadian Tire. Canadian Tire-owned Sport Chek is already known for outfitting its stores with the latest tech to create a unique customer experience, including a kiosk where shoppers design their own shoes and have them shipped directly to their door. Canadian Tire also has a space in Waterloo’s Communitech Hub, where it’s been working on myriad digital projects such as its new mobile that grants access to digital Canadian Tire money.
In 2015, you might not be pulling your smartphone out of your pocket while shopping to access a digital wallet, you might be doing so to see what deals are pushed to you when you get close to the snow shovels aisle.