You might often come across the term beacon signal if you own a business or work in the marketing profession. Also, Google might have sent you a beacon through the mail as part of their Project beacon. The aim of this program was to give away free beacons to business owners so that they are able to enhance the customer experience and their product exposure.
Beacon signal has evolved since its inception and rapid growth will be seen in the years to come. Various studies have projected that beacon signals will capture a market share of over $30 billion by the end of the next decade. Hence, we can conclude that the beacon signal has a promising future and it will completely change over perspective on brand outreach and marketing.
However, you might think about what exactly is a beacon signal and how it will help in achieving your business objectives. Well, in this article we will tell you all about that and we will discuss the future possibilities of expanding your business through beacon signal.
What exactly is a Beacon Signal?
A beacon signal indicates the proximity or location of the device or its readiness to perform a task. Some of the changing parameters can be expressed through the beacon signal, such as temperature and humidity, relative address, signal strength, power information, location, time stamp, available bandwidth resources, etc.
Beacons require low energy and work on Bluetooth hence we often refer to them as BLE beacons. They are very small in size and they basically function as wireless transmitters. We can use them to send beacon signals to any smart device within their vicinity. These are the most recent innovation in the IoT industry and analysts have recommended them for particular use in proximity marketing. The beacon signal is basically useful for establishing a connection to nearby devices and then transmitting information to them. Hence, it allows us to make location related searches and therefore enables precise and relatively easier user interaction. Therefore, we can develop customized shopping experiences for our valued customers. Hence, we can assure a higher brand awareness and brand recognition.
What is the working of a beacon signal?
The design and architecture of the beacon are very simple in comparison to other IoT devices. Every beacon has a radio, some batteries, and the main CPU. A beacon functions by frequently sending out an identification code. Whenever a smart device is nearby, it picks up that identification code. This identification code helps the smart device in displaying important notifications or places. The identification code serves as an inimitable ID that is easily recognizable by a smart device. A smart device such as a smartphone uses this ID to identify the respective beacon. The beacon performs the specified actions once it establishes a secure connection.
Does the beacon signal interfere with other signals?
The beacons operate at the same frequency as some Wi-Fi signals (2.4GHz), so there may be some interference. However, they operate at low power and transmit signals for a short time. So even if a lot of people were using Bluetooth at the same time, the impact on Wi-Fi connectivity would be negligible — there are a lot of household devices using this frequency with much higher power, so most of the time they wouldn’t affect Wi-Fi connectivity.
A Timeline of Beacon Signal
This timeline will help you in grasping the concept of the beacon signal and you will better understand some of the use cases. So, this timeline will help you understand the significance of the beacon signal for your business.
10th June 2013
Apple was the first to introduce the concept of beacons at the renowned WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference)
1st September – 10th November 2013
The well-known technology company “Titan” was designated to perform maintenance of phone booths in Manhattan. They decided to deploy over 550 beacons for the purpose of effective and timely maintenance.
6th December 2013
Apple wanted to provide its customers with a superior shopping experience. Hence, they deployed beacons in their 254 stores within the USA. These beacons were responsible for providing potential customers with notifications about ongoing promotions, available items, and relevant product reviews.
31st July 2014
More than a hundred of USA retailers decided to adopt beacons in their stores.
12th August 2014
Around 3 retailers in the United Kingdom decided to deploy beacons in their stores. Whenever a customer came within fifty meters of a beacon, they were shown the prices of relevant products and instructions on buying them online. However, in order to use these features, a customer had to download a dedicated app. This allowed the retailers to monitor the time a customer spent in purchasing and item and what was the prime motivator behind their purchase decision. This, in turn, allowed the retailers to devise dedicated marketing campaigns and hence improved their sales.
29th September 2014
Macy’s installed more than 4,000 beacons across all of its stores. This is supposedly the largest deployment of beacons ever recorded.
21st November 2014
A Blue dot navigation for indoor atmospheres was invented by the Aruba Networks by harnessing the beacon technology. Therefore, it was an economical and sustainable solution for navigation indoors.
Many popular social media platforms such as Facebook integrated beacons into their routine operations.
14th July 2015
Google announced the launch of Eddystone which provides location-specific notifications to nearby smart devices. Eddystone is compatible with all sorts of platforms hence more and more developers are motivated to work with beacons.
14th April 2016
Google announced the launch of Eddystone-EID. This encrypts your smart device when you connect it to a beacon. Hence, it is better protected and predators can’t exploit any pertaining vulnerabilities.
Customers were very comfortable with the idea of proximity marketing. However, they didn’t appreciate the need for downloading separate apps. So, Google initiated the work on developing a solution that allows people to benefit from beacon notifications without relying on any external apps.
Analysts suggest that beacons have the potential to form the basis of numerous IoT frameworks and applications.
Late 2017 – Present
Google initiates its project Beacon which is for encouraging business owners to adopt beacon technology. Under this program, Google sends out free beacons to potential businesses and offers them free support so that beacons can transition smoothly into a global and widespread phenomenon.
How can you transform your business with Beacon Signal?
Beacons have shown promise for a lot of applications. Beacons came in with a lot of features when they were launched. However, their features have drastically improved as beacons continue to evolve.
Using Google Ads for enhanced offline marketing
You can gain very important information about a customer’s offline activity by integrating the signals from the beacons to your company’s Google Ads account. Hence, you can better track their visits to your store. Therefore, when you design a Google Ad for your marketing campaign then you can leverage it to increase the number of people who visit your store.
Most marketing professionals often spend large amounts of their budgets on online advertisement campaigns. Hence, it is important for you to understand the significance of offline marketing. Conventionally, it is often considered a drag to investigate the linkages between online and offline marketing efforts. However, you can now use the shopping behavior of your consumers to identify their needs and you can use that to set up the perfect digital campaign. This will lead to a better conversion rate and you will generate larger revenue.
You might think that this is a very complex process. However, this is not true as it is very easy to perform. Here we will tell you about all the involved steps.
- Your customer opens up his browser and searches for “modern leather jackets.”
- The search results display your Google Ad.
- Your customer clicks on the ad and then browses your product. After looking at your product the customer closes the browser and goes back to doing his daily life.
- The customer then determines that he should try on the jacket before ordering it. Hence, he comes to your store.
- As soon as he enters your shop, his smartphone will receive the identification code from the beacons within your store.
- The beacon will successfully identify that the smart device of the customer is the same one that performed the google search and browsed the product ad. The beacon will then link this information to your store’s Google Ads account. So, you will know how many customers came to your store following your google ad.
And this way you can significantly increase your conversion rate by deploying beacons in your store. So, this will allow you to measure the efficiency of your advertisement campaign. Hence, you can understand how many people are visiting your store following your google ad. If you figure out that the google ad is bringing more customers to your store then you can increase the budget for that specific google ad.
On the other hand, if you see that only a few customers come to your store after clicking on your google ad then you can improve your digital campaign by using the available data. And if you still think that the google ad is not working then you can abandon it altogether and set up a brand new one.
In the beginning, this was the most sought after feature of the beacons. Marketers are still working on spreading the use of out-of-store marketing. However, it has shown a lot of promise for marketing new businesses and improving the sales of the existing ones.
Any promotional offer or features of a product you want your client to know about, you can send them directly to their smart devices as soon as they come near your beacons. You can use this to send notifications to the customers when they are in the vicinity of your store. Customers are more likely to visit your store and make a purchase when they know about existing discounts and loyalty programs. This will drive up your sales and increase your brand recognition and awareness.
You can use this location-specific feature for personalizing your out-of-store marketing. This will allow you to convert more potential buyers into loyal customers. Smartphones are rapidly growing and every person has one. Therefore, the need for out-of-store marketing is greatly increased as well. Hence, you should readily implement it if you want to increase your sales.
Sophisticated method for gathering data
Beacons have reliable accuracy in comparison to other location-based IoT technologies. Hence, they are very effective for data transmission. If you are a business owner then you can use this data to enhance your e-commerce stats. Hence, you can enhance your store layout and vast listings of products. For instance, if most of your customers are interested in buying leather jackets or if they are spending more time in the watches section then you can expand the jackets and watches section. You can also bring these sections to the front. Consequently, this data is going to help you in improving the customer experience you provide. Therefore, you can customize your advertisements for generating more sales.
Google My Business listing improvement
You will surely improve your Google My Business listing after installing beacons in your business. The beacon signal will tell you about the time slots in which most customers visit your store. Hence, the GMB listing for your business will increase considerably. The beacon signal will tell the incoming customers to post valuable reviews about your business and also upload relevant photos of your store. If you want great Search Engine Optimization for your online campaigns then having an excellent GMB listing is quite essential. Hence, you should definitely use beacons for rapidly improving the data collection for your business and ensuring that your GMB listing is far superior to your competitors.
It is quite obvious that beacons are a great tool for marketers. However, we shouldn’t forget the significance of beacons for the customers. Beacon signal allows customers to have a unique shopping experience because they get to interact with personalized products within a store. They get to receive current discounts and running promotions. On top of that, they get notifications for relevant products that they actually want to buy. Hence, they are not only more likely to make a purchase but they also might develop brand loyalty.
If you are looking to transform your business by using the beacon signal then you are in the right place. MOKOSmart specializes in all sorts of IoT products and devices. And we have years of experience in dealing with beacons. Feel free to reach out to us to transform your business today.
Besides proximity marketing, how can beacon signal be used?
Beacons are not just used for retail marketing, their applications in other industries are mature as well.
- Enhance interaction by notification
Beacons installed in museums or tourist areas can send notifications to visitors. If the beacons use the iBeacon protocol, the user’s mobile device will need to install a local app to interact with the beacons. On the other hand, if you are using Eddystone, the user can interact with the artwork through the physical website URL broadcast by Eddystone.
- Personnel tracking
Device tracking using Bluetooth beacons allows you to monitor the people you are obligated to care for in real time. For example, monitoring patients or elderly people living alone. Using Bluetooth beacons, a person’s location and movements can be tracked from home. In addition, Bluetooth beacons could be used in hospitals or other workplaces to ensure that employees are performing certain routine tasks. For example, a beacon could be placed next to a hospital’s hand sanitizer dispenser to ensure that staff uses it regularly.
- Warning notice
The beacon can be worn on the person’s body, which can trigger the alarm device to seek help in case of an emergency, or trigger a warning when the person does not move for a long time. The background will judge whether the person is in a state of falling or just plain lazy.
- Maximum utilization of space
By measuring floor, seat and meeting room occupancy, you can maximize office space and increase employee productivity.
- Improves the work environment
Real-time monitoring of movement, temperature and humidity, carbon dioxide, air quality and light in the office environment.
- Creates safer workplaces
In the event of an emergency, automatically count the people in the gathering area and identify the location of staff and visitors.
- Access management
Security management is enhanced by delivering a consistent process that simplifies real-time visitor tracking while keep delivering compliance and security.
- Provides seamless indoor navigation
Beacons can easily navigate your visitors and staff to designated rooms so that their appointments with others will not be missed.
- Social distancing
In order to prevent covid-19 spread among employees and visitors, many factories and other public places have required employees to wear beacons to maintain social distancing. When people wearing beacons exceed a safe distance, alarms will be triggered. In addition, beacons can also track their movements, so as to facilitate epidemic detection.
How does the beacon signal change over different distances
Normally, the distance of beacon signal can be up to 150 meters, but as obstacles block them, their distance can be affected.
Most beacon protocols have three range ranges that you should be aware of: far, near, and immediate (the device will do different things in each range).
- Far – This range allows your device to do things when it receives a beacon signal, such as following a marketing AD past a specified store.
- Near – Once you’re inside the store, your device can interact with items or exhibits in the store.
- Instant – this is so that your device can do something, touch an AD or make a payment are classic examples.
Where can you get a beacon from
There are many beacon manufacturers out there, but MOKOSmart stands out for its high flexibility, reliability, and long battery life. We provide an SDK that allows you to configure your own beacon parameters. Our beacons are customized according to different scenarios and industry requirements, and the built-in Coin Battery supports the beacons to run for a long time. Plus, you can even turn any Bluetooth low-energy compatible phone into a Bluetooth beacon itself!