The past year or so we've heard a lot about beacon marketing and in particular, Apple's iBeacon. Now comes word from a company with its own beacon marketing platform -- Swirl Networks -- about the first tangible proof that indoor, location-based short-range beacon marketing is actually effective at engaging shoppers. The idea, if you're not familiar with it, is that you opt in to receiving offers from a retailer by using their app, and as you walk near certain products you're offered information and deals.
Swirl's platform is deployed throughout the US and Canada at retailers such as Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay, Urban Outfitters, Alex & Ani, Kenneth Cole, and Timberland stores. The company has collected data over the past three months on tens of thousands of interactions by consumers who opted in to receive beacon notifications, and the results are amazing.
A full 60 percent of shoppers open and engage with beacon-triggered content, with 30 percent actually redeeming beacon offers when making purchases. A surprising 73 percent of the shoppers said that the content and offers delivered by the beacons as they roam a store increased their likelihood of making a purchase, while 61 percent said they'd do more holiday shopping at stores that offer mobile content and offers while they're shopping. That same number of shoppers said they'd visit a store that features beacon marketing campaigns more often, and 60 percent said they'd buy more as a result of receiving the beacon-triggered ads.
This is the first real indication that beacon marketing does work, and may influence even more retailers to jump on the beacon bandwagon in 2015.