If you are like most small business marketers and owners, you're constantly looking for ways to keep up and get ahead. Competition from larger businesses and vendors requires as much. So when a new technology comes along, it makes sense to listen and pick the perfect time to jump in and use it to your own advantage.
That's exactly what's happening with Beacon technology, an exciting technology trend in the SME world.
So far, only larger merchants have taken advantage of this new type of promotion and the opportunities it brings. But as it edges closer toward the main stream, why not keep an eye out for its success and jump on it as soon as it becomes realistic to implement?
What are Beacons?
Beacons are sweeping the merchandising world. Particularly if you own and operate a storefront business, this technology could go a long way toward helping you increase exposure and sales.
Here's how Apple, the first to offer Beacons in 2013, describes the technology:
iBeacon is a new technology that extends Location Services in iOS. Your iOS device can alert apps when you approach or leave a location with an iBeacon. In addition to monitoring location, an app can estimate your proximity to an iBeacon (for example, a display or checkout counter in a retail store). Instead of using latitude and longitude to define the location, iBeacon uses a Bluetooth low energy signal, which iOS devices detect.
In other words, it's an ultra-local communication service that, via a 'beacon' (or small electronic chip) can send messages to customers and potential customers who are walking close to the store. Apple was the first to enter into this new field, but other manufacturers - including Google - have followed since.
How Beacons Can Help Your Business
If you have a storefront business, it's not difficult to imagine the many advantages this technology can bring to your business. Imagine installing a Beacon in your storefront that communicates directly with customers about current sales, opening hours, and more.
Here's how that would work: you entice your audience to download your business app. Then, you set up specific messages that are sent through your Beacon to any app users walking nearby. These messages will then show up as 'push' notification, causing audiences to pay attention and take action.
Of course, the potential of Beacon technology does not stop at retail. Though that industry has been the first to embrace the new communication method, others are beginning to see its advantages as well. The potential of Beacon technology is near endless, poised to make an impact for businesses big and small in the years to come.
What it Means for Small Business
As of this moment, most small businesses do not yet have the resources or capabilities to seamlessly integrate Beacon technology. But, as is the case with all technology, that may be about to change. Just a couple of years ago, having your own app or customer database was unheard of unless you had a large business and plenty of resources. Now, both of these items are commonplace among successful small businesses.
And as it turns out, some small businesses are already beginning to use Beacon technology to their advantage. Check out this article by Entrepreneur.com that has some innovative uses, aiming to reach their audiences in new, unexpected ways.
In other words, Beacon technology is about to become relevant for businesses of all sizes. And naturally, this advancement could have a major impact on your small business or enterprise. To learn more about technology trends that could be relevant to your small business, and how to take advantage of them, contact us.