iBeacon in retail: grocery store

Finally! Stats to back up the iBeacon hype

Finally! Some stats on iBeacon and retail.

Over the past six months we’ve seen a lot of hype around the impact of iBeacon on the retail experience. While we’ve featured news of numerous iBeacon implementations, from drug stores to grocery chains, we finally have the first data showing iBeacon’s impact on the in-store shopping experience.

Last week, inMarket, a startup building a retail-focused iBeacon advertising platform, released data from a controlled sample study of 25,000 shoppers on their Mobile to Mortar™ iBeacon platform. The study, which was conducted over a 30-day period in April-May 2014, brings some much needed specificity to iBeacon’s much-hyped impact on the retail experience.

From the inMarket press release:

  • Interactions with advertised products increased by 19x for users who received a beacon message.
  • In-store app usage was 16.5x greater for users who received a beacon message.
  • Shoppers who received a beacon message were 6.4x more likely to keep an app on their phone, versus those who did not.

This data has major implications for both app publishers and retailers.

Implications of iBeacon for app publishers:

Of importance to app publishers, the study shows increased app engagement and retention for those shoppers exposed to iBeacon messaging. While many critics of iBeacon point towards the potential annoyance factor of proximity based messaging, this data says otherwise. iBeacon’s potential as a useful reminder and engagement driver should not be overlooked by app publishers. The increasingly fragmented consumer app market has made it harder and harder for apps to earn and maintain consumer attention. iBeacon will be a crucial channel through which apps can add value to the consumer experience and maintain foothold amongst a sea of competitors vying for consumer eyeballs.

While the study shows consumers have accepted iBeacon functionality, app publishers must maintain focus on quality of content delivered versus quantity. Apps must build out contextually relevant features that make consumers’ lives easier. There’s a very thin line between value and annoyance.

Implications of iBeacon for retailers & brands:

The key stat here of interest to retailers and brands is that users exposed to iBeacon messaging interacted with advertised products 19x more than the control group. For retailers, this means an opportunity to increase shoppers’ basket size and impact in-store engagement. Stores also have the opportunity to use the “concierge” aspect of iBeacon as a competitive advantage, delivering relevant messaging in context to improve the shopping experience. As an example, a retailer could deliver a shopper a map of their store upon entrance, or introduce him or her to new recipes based on location.

Brands are moving their advertising spend to mobile, and iBeacon provides yet another way to reach consumers. Timing is everything in advertising, and brands will be willing to pay a large premium to communicate with consumers as they make their purchase decisions in-store.

inMarket’s study has provided some much needed support for iBeacon’s future as a revolutionary technology in the retail space. The past six months have been a whirlwind of iBeacon news, and we can finally say the hype is real.