Beacon technology became popular a few years ago and instantly become one of the most sought-after technologies. Since then, a growing number of retail stores have been using beacon in order to gather and transmit information of all kinds. Beacon helps you collect that information and transmit it, and communicate with your customers in that manner easily through a mobile app.
Beacon is no more just a technology, it is now seen as a profitable investment. It easily blends the offline world with the one online. GPS-based geo-location apps have been proved to be extremely useful for using to collect data and increase user engagement in the outside world. The same way, beacons work out a good deal for indoor situations. It collects data or informs you when a customer gets close to your store. These beacons can either be permanent attachments on a machine or wall or simply hidden away in a place where no one will notice them. Mobile app development agencies these days have been working more on including beacon technology in the development stage of a mobile app.
What is a Beacon?
Beacon is a tiny gadget that will send alerts when a person enters or leaves the location the beacon is placed in. They do this by transmitting radio signals to smart devices like smartphones. Beacons are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy which can be used to send out proximity-based messages that also work as advertisements.
The Beacon sends out radio signals, which are delivered to the server and the server then listens to the message and acts upon it by sending a message to the user’s phone. This could be any kind of information like a location, a product, a new offer etc. The communication in this system only works one way, that is, from the beacon to the user’s device.
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What is The Process?
- Beacons are small devices that can be placed or hidden anywhere easily. It can either be attached to a wall or a machine. So normally, a retailer would place a beacon somewhere around the store. Sometimes it can be hidden away, where nobody can see it. It is not very difficult to detect these beacons by a smartphone. A beacon placed anywhere between 70 meters and 400 meters around a store can be easily detected if there are not too many obstructions.
- If you cross this particular store with a beacon, you will receive a text that informs you about an ongoing sale in the store. Then you can also start receiving product specific information from the store. This is only done when a beacon connects your Bluetooth enabled app to the store.
- Once you are tracked and the beacon notices that you are close to the store, it will send you a text. It will either send a text or a signal to the phone which will activate the app. There are conditions to this. Your phone needs to have the Bluetooth on in order to catch the signal. For Android, it is required that the app is running in the background in order to receive the signal. For Apple, the Bluetooth must be on then the signal will wake up the app in the device. Apple often suggests developers design their apps with beacon functionality for this very reason.
- Through this process, you receive information from the retailer about any new items, or discounts, or free samples at the store. This is a kind of proximity marketing. This information will prompt you to at least go and visit the store now that you are hanging around so close to it.
Coding for Beacons
Beacon technology is not just some sort of addition to the already existing mobile development technology. It is a completely new technology in itself. Coders will have to learn it and adapt it in such a way that it works with their old development technologies and can only add to the improvement of the applications they are creating.
How will Businesses Receive Profit from Beacons?
Businesses have been profited a lot recently, thanks to the beacon technology. The Beacon technology is only going to be more and more widespread which will help more businesses take advantage of proximity marketing. This way they will be expanding the number of buyers, and thus their profit will increase. Using the beacon technology is a smart way of doing business in today’s world.
Beacons are slowly changing the way communication is being done with customers and also how marketing is evolving with the help of it. Beacons can not only be used for marketing or advertising or attracting more customers. There can definitely be more useful things that can be done using a beacon. This technology will develop more and allow developers to add their own input and make it even more useful.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile game development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.