If you have recently purchased a smartphone, there is a high probability that you must have heard about the beacon. In all likelihood, your sophisticated smartphone would work with these charming little devices. Now, questions must be swirling in your head as to what are beacons, how thy operate and what purposes they serve among other things. For your information, they are small Bluetooth-enabled devices which make use of Bluetooth Low Energy devices(BLE) to communicate wirelessly with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. BLE technology allows beacons to send or receive information from these devices if they are in proximity. It is one of the primary reasons beacons have been getting all the retailers pretty excited who believe it can open new vistas of sales and profit opportunities for them.
Why are beacons getting all retailers charged up
These days, it is quite unlikely to come across people who do not possess a smartphone. It offers the retailers an excellent opportunity to connect and engage with their present and potential customers more actively, given they are close to their beacons. It is because the signals emanated by beacons are heard or picked up by the devices only if they are within a short distance of the beacon.
For example, retailers can easily track the movements of the customers within their store. They can easily find out the time being spent by customers in a particular section looking at particular products. It allows them to send customers targeted messages which could eventually build customer loyalty and take their sales and profits northwards. You can think of retailers making use of beacons the same way e-commerce sites use tracking software to keep a tab on the purchasing habits and decision of their target customers. Retailers can also use Heatmapper to lure customers to their shops. It is a tool which allows you to map out the signal strength of your wireless network.
iBeacon and Eddystone
iBeacon is the protocol developed by Apple which allows mobile apps running on iOS platform to pick up signals from compatible beacons. Eddystone, on the other hand, is an open source protocol developed by Google, which offers official support for both Android and iOS.
Other important uses of beacons
Beacons are now being widely used in other places as well. For example, a beacon-enabled bus stop could be used to send information about bus transit times. They can also be used in sports stadiums to guide the fans to their particular seats.
Where to buy
You can buy both iBeacon and Eddystone enabled beacons online or a brick and mortar store with relative ease. Quality sellers offer these powerful tools at attractive prices to help retailers create powerful campaigns based on the information they receive from their customers.