Rite Aid takes on beacons in a big way
Rite Aid has recently become the largest beacon installer to date; a pretty impressive feat given the record was previously held by Macy’s. Rite Aid partnered with inMarket, a mobile shopper marketing firm, which also manufacturers their own securitized Bluetooth beacons for iOS and Android to assist in their beacon launch.
What is a proximity beacon? Proximity beacons are a piece of hardware, often attached to a wall or countertop, that use battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet.
Why would Rite Aid want to use them?
In a way, they transform the shopping experience; they change the way in which a store can communicate with their customers while they are still inside the store. It also gives brick-and-mortar stores the same advantages they enjoy through e-commerce. The beacons help personalize the shopping experience for the customer. They will also help push notifications, just like they do through their apps and websites now.
According to ZDNet, “the company works with publishers such as Conde Nast and Gennett (which run apps like Epicurious, Coupon Sherpa, List East and ScanLife, among others) to help them ‘beaconize’ their apps so that they can communicate with proximity devices.”
Otherwise, they wouldn’t be functional as they require apps to listen for them; inMarket provides this app along with other benefits.
Also, inMarket offers a unique advantage in that they work to enhance and draw on the brand and store apps that customers already have working in real life. “Our strategy has been to build out relationships with apps that people already use, rather than try to reinvent the wheel and get people to download something new,” the brand reports.
Are beacons the next big thing?
Possibly. Beacons have the potential to enrich the shopping experience and keep your customers engaged with products and sales while they are in the store. They also have the potential to keep customers coming back.
Whether or not they catch on and prove to be an effective marketing tool in the long run, is a completely different debate. What do you think; are proximity beacons an effective marketing tool?