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WHAT ARE BEACONS?



According to our graphic designer, a beacon is like a tiny wizard trapped inside of a very small capsule. If you get close enough to it that he can hear you, he will cast various magical spells on your mobile phone. If you are baffled by how beacon technology works, don’t worry. You aren’t alone.

Beacons are small, wireless devices that act as transmitters to bring proximity awareness to mobile devices. The beacons broadcast signals via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy – lower power consumption and longer battery life than regular Bluetooth) to nearby mobile phones with apps designed specifically to pick up these signals. Those apps are then triggered to perform specific actions.Initial advantages of implementing beacon technology include: Proximity marketing, indoor navigation (guiding a client towards a certain product or section in a store), user analytics (collecting data and analyzing behavior), and contactless payments.

Conversions increase 40% when consumers use mobile devices both before and during the in-store experience. In 2014 we have seen top retailers like Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Duane Reade, and American Eagle adopt beacon technology. The idea is that consumers will take action if they receive the information they want, when they want it.

As a result of this new technology, multiple players have emerged to support beacon implementation: beacon hardware vendors, beacon solution vendors, smartphone platforms, third-party apps, retailers and end users. An important trend emerging that will spur the use of beacons is mobile payments. Most retailers are planning mobile commerce initiatives to improve the customer experience at check-out. Paypal and ApplePay have already integrated beacons into their newest payment technology.

Full Society uses Beacons to streamline restaurant check out processes. If you’re curious about this, give us a call. We will be happy to walk you through it!

  1. “Beacon Trends in the Retail Space 2015” FBIC Global Retail Research & Intelligence. January 29.
  2. “Mobile Payment and Technology” Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. February 6, 2014.

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8 Water Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
  info@fullsociety.org

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