Today’s economy is a competitive one, and retailers have a variety of campaign tricks up their sleeves to drive brand awareness and overall growth. Beacon technology is one of those, and Elle magazine is showing the world just how powerful it can be.
Beacon technology utilizes push SMS technology and GPS location to “announce” when a potential customer is near a retail store. For instance, if you sign up for notifications from your favorite clothing store, and later, you travel within five miles of that store, you will receive an instant text message with a special promotion and the retail store’s exact location. It works surprisingly well, and more and more retailers continue to jump on board.
A perfect example of how beacon technology is driving huge growth in retail stores is Elle’s “Shop Now” program. If you have ever read the magazine, then you know that they regularly review products and label them as “Editor’s Picks”, which is a testament to the value of the product. Recently, Elle began making those picks available to consumers via ShopAdvisor and RetailMeNot, two of the country’s largest shopping apps. There are 25 million app subscribers who will receive a notification if they are within a mile of several huge retailers that offer Elle’s Editor’s Picks items.
Image Source: Elle Magazine
In recent years, as the internet makes products accessible from home, fewer and fewer people venture into retail stores to shop for the things they want or need. This takes away from sales in clothing and beauty product industries – as well as others – because the atmosphere in those retail locations is specifically designed to convert browsers to buyers. Kevin O’Malley, the Senior VP and publisher of Elle Magazine, says that the decline of in-store traffic is the number one complaint he receives from the companies the magazine advertises. Beacon technology may change all of that.
The CEO and founder of ShopAdvisor says that beacon technology works so well because of the way it is designed. People get alerts from one of their favorite magazines alerting them that a particular product is nearby, and that same alert provides an excellent promotion that further entices the recipient to stop and check it out. Then, once the individual is in the store, the odds of them purchasing things above and beyond the push SMS notification skyrockets.
Elle’s beacon technology is provided by Swirl, a company that specializes in sending push SMS notifications to individuals who opt-in. The VP of Marketing for Swirl, Rob Murphy, says he believes that Elle was the first-ever publisher to utilize beacon technology to drive sales. Unsurprisingly, it is working. Within the first few months of utilizing the technology, Elle drove half a million visits to retail stores.
If your retail location is experiencing a slump, consider utilizing beacon technology to help things pick up again. There are a number of companies out there to help you, and instead of an endorsement from Elle magazine, all you need is an opt-in page on your Facebook profile or website.