I ran across a GREAT article the other day about beacons and how they can help retailers connect with customers to boost their bottom line.

Apple is championing the way with its iBeacon implementation. Apple has built iBeacon into devices and operating systems. Many third party manufacturers have built beacons that can send iBeacon messages to Apple devices.

Apple’s Passbook is the premier platform for iBeacon ready campaigns.  EVERY iPhone running iOS6 and above can see the offers in Passbook, and starting with iOS7, each one can receive iBeacon transmissions to the Passbook as a native function.

What does this mean for retailers using the MobileSavings.Net platform?  In a nutshell, it means instant compatibility WITHOUT spending a dime to build, distribute, or support an app!  Merchants can utilize our platform to manage the technology and forget about everything else but marketing their campaigns to their customers.

Google Wallet works the same way with the platform, albeit with limited functionality when it comes to beacons.  Google still has not added native beacon reception for iBeacons or any other beacon standards at the moment.  We’ve got our fingers crossed that the upcoming Google I/O will push out a LOT of updates and new features (like back of the pass click through), but since Android is such a fragmented set of systems and customizations, they don’t have the widespread adoption of OS updates that Apple does.

Back to the article —

In-store Beacons have proved to be particularly effective in the US, driving brand engagement and driving an increase in purchases. They also provide retailers with useful information about who uses their stores – eg, their age, gender and what they looked at.

We have numerous articles and case studies that reference the Hillshire Farms success story from last year, and it would be a great idea to give it a once over.

Being able to explain to merchants how creating campaigns that utilize both iBeacons and geo-fencing is a key to successful conversions.  If you’re selling in person, complete your sale by helping your customer set up their first Announcement and adding their first template and coupon campaign to their Pass Manager Admin section – this invests the merchant in actually trying out the system and seeing how easy it is to use.

Merchants still need to ‘sell’ their customer base on downloading the passes, but it’s so much easier to get a customer with an iPhone to scan a QR code that drops the offer directly into their Passbook than it is to convince them to download and install an app,  and then continue to use the app.

Be sure to help your new merchant navigate to the Merchant Tools Section on their flash drive or online if they are using a tablet without a USB port.  We have provided more than 1,000 images in the Merchant Graphics Library and are adding at least 100 more each month.  Images are categorized by business type, but merchants are free to select and use any images they like.  They also have the option of uploading their own customized images if they prefer to do that.

If you’re unsure exactly how the flash drive or the Merchant Tools work, don’t hesitate to search the site articles, or ask us.  We’ll be happy to make sure that you understand and can demonstrate the process to your merchants quickly and correctly.