Shelfbucks Shares Use Cases for Apple’s iBeacon for Retailers

Bloomberg and GigaOm, think retailers should be interested in micro-location marketing with iBeacons.

What are the use cases for iBeacons in retail stores?

1) Visibility into circular deals

2) Loyalty program deals

3) End of season markdowns

4) Open box return deals

5) Cross-selling of related products

Visibility into Circular Deals

Many retailers do weekly circulars that have 24 pages and four colors. Not all shoppers want to spend the effort and time to search through the circulars before coming to the store. So giving shoppers visibility to circular deals at the shelf when the customer is in the act of making a buying decision could help sales.

Loyalty Program Deals

Often deals for customers in a retailer’s loyalty program are different than deals in the retailer’s circulars. So those deals can be fed into beacons and served up to customers as well. It’s but one example of personalization.

End of Season Markdowns

Many retailers have departments that are seasonal and they want to mark down the inventory and reinvest the cash into other categories. Examples are Halloween candy and ski parkas. This has been going in retail forever, but tools that optimize gross margins could be improved.

Open Box Returns

Stores accept returns on items bought for as long as 30 days. They cannot advertise these items as new, and the number of inventory declines in value every week it ages.  Today, store manager specials are the way this inventory is liquidated. Big electronics retailers see a better way by enabling a customer to bump a beacon for a deal and optimize the pricing as the item ages.

Cross-Selling of Related Products

Many categories have obviously missed cross-selling opportunities because the retail customer simply forgot to get the related item and put it in their shopping cart or basket. This is a common imperative in almost all retail-namely to increase basket size by cross-selling a related item.

You spend marketing funds to push digital coupons to drive traffic to the store. But are you happy with the spending split of 100% to 0% for push vs. pull? Is this enough emphasis at the bottom of the sales funnel-namely when the shopper is making the buying decision in the store?

Retailers that employ this approach may find that they enhance the buyer’s experience and obtain revenue and margin growth as well.

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