Much has been made of beacons and retail's reportedly imminent rollout of location-based marketing tools. For all the attention, no one knows just how this type of interaction will play out with shoppers, but a study indicates that shoppers will indeed respond to push messages in significant numbers.
Many retailers are testing beacons, and as evidenced by the schedules at recent retail-technology-heavy conferences, including SXSW Interactive, the promise of beacons burns bright in the eyes of marketers and brands. But for all the talk, beacons are still mostly in test mode. Chain-wide rollouts are promised, but few retailers have gone beyond testing the technology, thanks to more than a few barriers.
And now there's new evidence that push messaging may be wearing thin as shoppers suffer push message fatigue.
However, a new study indicates ways in which brands and retailers can interact with consumers via location-based technologies.
"We see many brands looking to use beacon technology to reach consumers, but most don't understand it beyond pushing coupons that will annoy consumers," notes a new report by Howler, a location-based marketing platform that sends messages to consumers as they walk by a venue.
Howler partnered with beacon provider Kontakt.io to deploy 600 beacons in 150 venues at restaurants, grocery stores, boutiques, gyms and malls in the Boston area.
The results proved that shoppers are willing to interact with this new type of messaging.
In fact, 89 percent of shoppers who received an ad through Howler (a Howl) engaged with it, resulting in 52 percent of those consumers entering the venue. And compared to average conversion rates for mobile ads, which Howler places at roughly 2.3 percent, the Howler message resulted in a 1,625 percent jump in conversions.
Engagement rates were also high, as 8 percent of people who downloaded the app are using it week after week, and 89 percent of users engage with notifications they receive while walking by.
"A retention of 62 percent for 90 days and an average of seven engagements per week is unachievable for competitors who are struggling to reach two engagements per week and to keep [a] retention rate at the level of 33 percent," according to the report. "This shows an interesting fact about how people perceive Howler: It's a communication app for them, like WhatsApp or Vine. It just happens that the communication is from the business to the consumer, instead of from one friend to another."
-See this Howler case study
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
Grocery sector poised for mobile marketing