Retailers are the most excited by the avalanche of new opportunities made possible by the Beacons technology. Since Apple first introduced it in mid-2013, though, iBeacon has opened the door of disruption for many - and sometimes unexpected - industries.
Now that the Apple Watch is on the verge of finally making a debut in stores, the buzz is even higher. The two, in fact, make the perfect pair to help you improve customer experience. Let’s see what are the top 10 industries that iBeacons already disrupt - or will disrupt in the near future.
Just as the GPS changed so much how we experience the world around us, beacon technology - and Apple’s iBeacon above all - is destined to rebuild the way we experience places and stores. Add mobile devices to the equation and you will see why brands urgently need to shake up their engagement tools and rethink their digital customer experience from scratch.
Today, almost any app on your smartphone or tablet is able to monitor your location, but the GPS technology is only accurate to within a few hundred meters. iBeacons add to your armory the capability to estimate user’s proximity within feet of a location, allowing mobile apps to deliver contextual and personalized content based on different behavior patterns.
The emergence of the smartwatch and the new generation of activity trackers and wearables will only accelerate this process, improving the efficiency of proximity marketing and offering the ability to augment the way clients explore places and interact with shops and products. The use of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) increases iBeacon’s life and makes it able to communicate with nearby devices, outdoor and indoor.
Of course much of the focus has been on how iBeacon can benefit retailers and personalize the shopping experience, but this new - however not as new as you may think - technology will touch and disrupt many more industries. It is a complete game changer that could shape the future of markets and brands, like Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things and - potentially - the Apple Watch.
While companies compete to attract new clients and improve customer retention, here are 10 industries that already test and trial iBeacons.
Brick-and-mortars retail is undergoing its deepest change ever. It is the obvious industry for iBeacons in the local marketplace. Giants like Macy’s and Walmart are already taking advantage of technology to offer personalized content, location-based offers, call-to-actions, push notifications when customers are near or inside the store.
Technology is changing the way we do and - most of all - watch sports. In the U.S. many teams are testing new strategies to move people away from their comfortable couch and bring them to the sports arena. Major League Baseball is already implementing iBeacons to enhance the sports experience with in-depth information, gamification dynamics, indoor guidance and merchandising discounts.
How can you fight non-attendance at school? New generations are intransigent digital natives and demand new approaches. Technology encourages students to study and learn in new ways, talking their digital language. The iBeacon can foster improved relationships between students and teachers, allow them to communicate through messaging apps, alert parents when kids are not at school.
New apps are already coming to the stores to transform your iPhone into a smart personal assistant, able to respond instantly to your home environment. The iBeacon perfectly works indoor, and that means not only stores or stadium, but even your house. This is the level zero of the evolution of automation and domotics, that will show the power of the Internet of Things in full swing. To change the way we live.
When you organize an event - be it press conference, concert, ceremony or meeting - the key factor to succeed is the ability to engage attendees. The perfect examples is the last edition of SXSW festival, where the iBeacon technology was used to help people avoid lines and get more involved in the sessions. Real-time interaction and sponsored notification are just two examples of how to use it in the events management.
The hospitality industry usually moves with the times, to offer innovative and improved experiences to clients. Hotels are adopting new technologies not just to increase productivity but also to enhance brand image and avoid the negative effects of bad reviews online. The iBeacons can help them with: way finding, geofencing, check-in management and real-time customer service.
There's a lot of talk these days about the importance of a renewed health program, in the name of a more human service and improved efficiency. When budget cuts become the standard in political programs all around the world, technology can help in spending less to offer more: HealthKit and Health Platforms are the final frontier of this trend, but the iBeacon is already in trial to better the medical customer experience in many U.S. hospitals.
How will museums survive the digital disruption? They need to embrace the evolution and improve interactive content delivery and navigation. Some are already offering a contextual guide that automatically provides on smartphones more details about the art and the exhibition. Here are other benefits: room guidance, way finding, improved loyalty, branded content, social media integration and product discounts.
With the expansion of air routes and the decrease of flight prices, tourists now can go wherever they want. Municipalities feel the necessity to augment the experience and offer new ways to explore the city: mobility and iBeacons are the best engagement tool they can rely on, to put tourists in charge of their visit and enable them to access information about landmarks and key points of interests around the city.
Economic crisis is forcing financial institutions and banks to reinvent themselves to retain customer loyalty and avoid capital outflow. Accounts have become customers and service is now the key to create an amazing banking customer experience. From welcome messages to the integration of NFC and mobile payments, there are many ways to use iBeacons in retail banking.
These - and other - industries are more and more focused on how to find, attract and engage customers. We are still in the rollout phase and there is so much to explore and learn. One thing is for sure: with iBeacons, marketing is set change soon and fast!
As practical advice: if you want to connect with your customers in a whole new way discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to turn on smartphones like magic and deliver personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.