Beacons, Geofencing Can Make Mobile Users Even More Valuable

mobile apps beacon

Mobile users have long been a highly coveted market, especially since GPS has made it possible to pinpoint a customer’s location and know when they’re reasonably close to a retail location.

ShopAdvisor has nudged location technologies one step further, using beacons and geofencing together to more precisely locate customers in order to push more relevant offers and buying information to them in an innovative way.

ShopAdvisor Partners With Elle

Elle, a top fashion magazine targeted at women, wanted to do something extraordinary to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Along with a record-breaking 668-page issue, the magazine contacted ShopAdvisor for help. The goal was to create a special piece of software that would support long-time advertisers, as well as provide useful information to loyal Elle readers as they shopped. As part of the pilot Shop Now program, Elle and ShopAdvisor placed beacons in more than 1,609 retail stores around the country.

Although GPS is limited when it comes to pinpointing a customer’s location, adding a beacon allowed Elle’s ShopAdvisor designed app to know exactly where a customer was located within a participating store. By checking cookie information on recent clicks, the software could accurately predict what offers would be useful to customer.

For example, if an Elle reader had clicked on an advertisement for skinny Levi’s in their web browser, content related to that product would appear on the Shop Now app. That might mean a coupon or it could be relevant reviews from Elle fashion experts — but it was meant to always be actionable information.

An app like this walked a fine line between pushing customers into sales when they were on the fence and alienating them completely by being entirely too creepy. Fortunately for Elle and the retailers partnered with them, the numbers that returned after six weeks of Shop Now usage were very promising. Normally, mobile apps using location-based marketing account for less than one percent of Smartphone users who actually enter stores. The Shop Now app pushed more than eight percent of users into stores.

The future of mobile advertising for retail locations may have just been ushered in by Elle and ShopAdvisor. A simple combination of technologies that allows retailers to reach their customers directly can help businesses increase sales and customers find wanted merchandise faster – it’s a winning situation for everyone.


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