Study: 6 of 10 Shoppers Engage With Beacon Messaging

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1564_estimore-beacon1-1374074046There is more evidence that beacon marketing is rapidly taking over the local marketing industry. This morning, Swirl, one of a handful of companies using the new technology to offer in-store marketing tools for retailers, released the results from its beacon marketing campaign running in retail stores across North America. The numbers Swirl released should be enough to turn any hyperlocal marketer’s head.

The stats show 60% of shoppers open and engage with beacon-triggered content, and 30% of shoppers redeem beacon-triggered offers at the point of purchase. Another 73% of shoppers surveyed said that beacon-triggered content and offers increased the likelihood that they would make a purchase during their store visit. Rob Murphy, Swirl’s VP of Marketing isn’t surprised by the numbers, but he thinks a lot of people in the industry will be.

“I think it will surprise other people because in the world of marketing and digital marketing, these numbers are off the charts in terms of engagement,” said Murphy.

The Swirl platform is currently deployed at leading retailers throughout the U.S and Canada, including Lord & Taylor, Urban Outfitters and many others. Swirl analyzed in-store campaign performance data from tens of thousands of shopper interactions and surveyed shoppers who received beacon-triggered messages over the past three months. Murphy said beacon marketing is having a much larger impact on consumer behavior than anything he has seen before.

“Think about click through rates, which are well under 1%,” he said. “Mobile display ad click through rates have an engagement rate of a couple of percent even if they’re engagement based. Email marketing has an open rate of 20% and click-through or purchase rates of 5%.”

Murphy said the ability to reach consumers while they’re in-store has given marketers an unprecedented opportunity to engage consumers. He said geolocation-based campaigns create relevance and value in real time that drives sales and creates returning customers.

“This is the first time that marketers are able to insert themselves into the decision making process at the moment of truth when they are deciding what and how much they’re going to buy,” he said. “That’s why this is so strong, compelling and influential.”

The report touched on the impact beacon marketing has on holiday shoppers as well. 61% of said they would do more holiday shopping at stores that delivered mobile content while they shop. 61% also said they visit a store with beacon marketing campaigns more often, and 60% said they would buy more as a result of receiving beacon triggered marketing messages.

“When consumers are using their phones in the store, there is no way to know what they are looking at,” said Murphy. “You can’t control that. What beacon marketing can do is provide a compelling reason to interact with a consumer while they’re in the store.”

The team at Swirl believes that beacon marketing has become a necessity for retailers who want to remain competitive. Swirl founder and CEO Hilmi Ozguc believes it needs to be in every retailers marketing plans by next year.

“Proximity marketing has the power to transform the customer experience, increase brand affinity and drive sales uplift,” said Ozguc. “Early adopters are seeing remarkable results and generating highly valuable learnings that they are using to optimize future campaigns. For retailers who haven’t yet deployed beacon marketing programs, it should be a top priority for 2015.”

Swirl’s experience with beacon reveal a technology that could completely change the way hyperlocal marketers do their jobs. Now that marketers can tell exactly where a consumer is at a given moment, the entire playfng field has been transformed.

“Because of the hyper-focus on real events, they’re an order of magnitude higher than traditional marketing channels,” said Murphy.

Mason Lerner is a contributor at Street Fight.