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Beacons to drive customer engagement

By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb's portals journalist.
Johannesburg, 24 Oct 2016

The number of coupons issued via mobile and online channels globally will grow by more than 60% over the next five years, increasing from 224 billion in 2016 to 362 billion in 2021.

This is according to a new study from Juniper titled, Mobile & Online Coupons: Loyalty & Beacon Engagement 2016-2021, which found that the growth in digital coupon volumes can be mainly attributed to a greater retailer emphasis on the provision of highly targeted, personalised offers to consumers.

The research noted brands will increasingly deploy bots, artificial intelligence applications which can interact with consumers via social media and messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger.

Lauren Foye, research author at Juniper, says beacons (Bluetooth devices which can send offers to consumers while they shop) enable retailers to collect and utilise a raft of valuable and relevant data points.

"For retailers one of the major tools is knowing their customers. Tracking user movements in store via beacons allows for targeted marketing and offers. This can also aid in providing invaluable data and statistics to a company. This then drives sales."

The research also found that large-scale deployments of beacons have been constrained. The research claims that the key hurdle was the need for consumers to have opted in to online engagement with a brand or retailer, either through having installed a store's application on their smartphone, or to be following their account on social media.

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