Retailers are finding yet another critical use for beacons: parking.
Shoppers who park and receive messages on their smartphones from businesses nearby are 30 percent more likely to visit that location, according to HotSpot, a Canadian mobile parking payment solution and proximity marketing company.
HotSpot partnered with beacon provider Kontakti.io in parking lots to contact shoppers and then track behavior at nearby retail locations. The application lets shoppers monitor and pay for parking remotely, eliminating the uncertainty and risk of tickets and fines.
And ultimately, the parking innovation allows consumers to shop more freely.
Much of the discussion and promise of proximity technology has centered around the in-store or in-mall experience. But by addressing another pain point, parking, merchants can create a better shopping experience in different ways.
"HotSpot Parking is a pretty complicated business idea: serving a central coordinator between the needs of three different and powerful groups of people, they thrive because they exist to solve a complicated problem well, and because they don't have to worry about the software or hardware side of their proximity business thanks to Kontakt.io," noted a HotSpot whitepaper. "Balancing the needs of the city, the retailers and their customers, they launched initially with some simple goals, overcame some challenging hurdles, and have grown to be the largest application of their kind in Canada."
HotSpot now incorporates roughly 30 percent of the parking facilities in four Canadian cities with 500 beacons deployed. Early results show that 30 percent of HotSpot users who park nearby walk into a store. On average, users spend 61 minutes in the store, which is 7 minutes, or 13 percent longer, than the average time spent in brick-and-mortar stores, according to ICSC/Shopping Centers Today.
Using beacon technology for more than simply sending shoppers coupons is critical if retailers are to maximize proximity programs. Solving a painful problem, parking, is just one way to do so.
-Download this HotSpot whitepaper
Push messages push shoppers into venues in big numbers
Macy's updates app to sort items by proximity
Regional grocers light up stores with beacon tests
Are beacons ready for their close up?
Target updates app with brick-and-mobile in mind