What started as miniscule devices placed inside retail establishments today are driving $40 billion in sales. Beacons are Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices. They poll nearby smart devices.
Since they are low energy devices, continuous polling operation doesn’t quite drain the battery or consume a lot of energy. For example, an ideal BLE application device can operate for “months or years” on a button cell.
When a beacon, as a result of the polling operation, finds a nearby device, it retrieves the device’s ID.
If the ID matches with that of the beacon’s, a series of actions are taken by the app that triggered the match.
For example, retailers can program their beacons to send irresistible offers to new customers to boost their marketing efforts. Or a beacon placed on the outside can bring an old customer back.
Beacons are location based devices. That is, a retailer can target different offers to a person at the toy alley and food alley of the supermarket with the help of this Real Time Tracking System.
There is nothing as perfect beacon installation. It takes many test-runs with real customers before a retailer could establish a beacon installation anywhere near perfect.
1. Plot Beacons on the floor plan
Start with your retail establishment’s floor plan and circle where you want to place beacons. An ideal plan should cover the entire floor in minimum devices without forming a dead zone in between.
A typical BLE has a range of 10m in open space. The range may decrease as the number of barriers between the beacon and a device increase. The barriers can be overcome by putting beacons at a height.
2. Install the beacons
Once you have the plotted the beacons on the floor plan, install beacons on all those locations.
Invite a few of your friends with their smartphones and ask them to look for dead zone if any. Replot accordingly.
3. Run the Trials
Your customers’ smartphones will start noticing the beacons. To learn how effective they are as sales boosters, run exclusive beacon offers.
After a month or so you’ll either notice spike of sales from beacon exclusive offers or not.
If latter is the case, there is something wrong with your sales campaign around beacons.
Look for the beacon you’re getting maximum number of conversions from. As long as you programmed every beacon to throw different offer, you’ll also learn what kind of offers are working for you.
Keep running the trials until the gain in sales volume is substantial or give up on beacons already.
Why Beacons and BLE app development are gaining this amount of popularity lately?
A. Cost: the technology 60-80% cheaper than competing standards
B. Power Consumption: An average beacon can last up to 2 years on a AA Battery*
C. Application: BLE is part of every smartphone since Bluetooth 4.0
Eddystone vs. iBeacon
Eddystone and iBeacon are communication protocols. As mentioned earlier, beacons send out a Bluetooth signals at certain intervals, and the communication protocols describe the format that makes up the signal
A major reason behind growing popularity of Beacons is their next-to-none maintenance cost.
A beacon on a pair of AA battery constantly transmitting radio waves can last up to 5 years thanks to BLE.
Of course, five years of battery life is impossible to achieve in real-life application.
But if you compare the power consumption with some other competing technology, even two years of battery life is great. The battery life is dependents on two factors:
The frequency of the signal affects battery life. The lower the frequency; the longer the battery life will be. However, higher frequency has many advantages:
A. Faster, stable User Experience
B. Better feedback on user’s location
C. Precise measurement of distance
Read More: How Much Does It Cost to make beacon App?
A stronger signal means the beacon can cover a larger area. That means it can detect devices at a larger distance and will be more resistant to obstacles. Of course, a typical tradeoff is high power consumption and thus faster battery depletion.
Once up and running, any infrastructure of devices requires persistent maintenance to make sure they are doing fine.
Typical beacon maintenance tasks are
1. physical inspection of the beacons,
2. battery monitoring,
3. firmware update
Peerbits team of beacon experts on your side
Beacons are part of a peerbits smart retail mobility solution. We know you need more than hardware for full-scale establishments.
Thus, we offer end-to-end solutions that includes everything from planning to testing, deployment to maintenance of beacon app development.
The magnitude of maintenance involved and the involvement it requires vary according to various factors: number of beacons, original design’s scalability, and installation.
The development, deployment and maintenance of any proximity solution based on beacons are interwoven and the association becomes particularly ostensible in the exceptional challenges of largescale retail deployments.