Friday, August 28, 2015

Beacons in Retail: Will Eddystone Be a Game Changer?

In July, Google announced their answer to Apple's iBeacons -- Eddystone. It's an open-source beacon that is not only accessible by both Android and iOs platforms, but can operate without the need for an app by sending of a URL. This kind of flexibility could open up a world of possibilities for interested retailers. Here are just a few ideas:

Real-Time Inventory
Departments, Aisles and Product Sections feature beacons that help users locate the product they're looking for and alert them if it's in stock. If it's out of stock, users could be pushed to complete a transaction through the mobile app or eCommerce site to order for home delivery. App users could instantly connect to an expert through chat or messaging to ask product questions or get help with an order.

Real-Time Content Delivery
Product Sections feature beacons that trigger access to exclusive content from content creators, product reviews, and lifehacks featuring the products. For example, a shopper in the Home and Bath section of a store may receive a video of interior design inspirations with complementary products that are curated by a popular YouTuber, or featured Pinterest boards from a Pinfluencer.

Real-Time Social Reviews and Tips
Shoppers can leave reviews, tips and complementary product suggestions through an app experience that are tied to physical locations in stores. For example, a shopper may have had a better experience with a particular brand of cleaning materials -- they could leave that preference in the form of a social sticky note for the next shopper to discover.