Shopping centre pushes Beacon marketing

shutterstock_181885169Beacon technology has arrived in shopping centres. The Swan Centre in Eastleigh on the south coast of the UK is the first shopping centre to utilise the new technology.

Retailers within the centre can now recognise customers who have come there to shop, and send targeted adverts and discounts direct to their mobile phones via blue tooth.

TagPoints, the Brighton based start-up company who developed the technology linked its Tag-Beacon to the Centre’s SmartRewards loyalty programme. Along with a welcome message, customers get loyalty points towards discounted offers, and can expect to receive retailer specific offers in the future.

Seven brands with stores in the shopping centre including WHSmiths, Game and Nandos have already signed up to use the Beacon technology, with campaigns expected to roll out in the coming weeks.

Sue Hillyer, WH Smith’s Swan Centre store manager, says: “Being able to offer real-time rewards and incentives based on a customer’s location is very exciting. It has already driven shoppers into store and we can only see it being more successful as targeting gets more accurate.”

According to Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, Beacons are one of ten mobile technologies and capabilities that organisations must master in 2015 and 2016. Such high-precision location sensing that enables businesses to know a customer’s location to within a few meters is a key enabler of the delivery of highly relevant information and services.

“There’s a real buzz within the retail industry about the potential of location-based technology to help engage with and market services to the public,” explains Mark Robinson, Investment Director at Ellandi, owner of the Swan Centre. “It offers them the ability to connect with motivated customers and deliver filtered offers and discounts – based location and proximity – directly to their mobile phones. Our merchants are now able to communicate directly with customers and positively influence their spending patterns without having to lift a finger.”

TagPoints co-founder Jess Stephens says that the installation ushers in a new era of mobile advertising. “While this is the first time this system has been used in a UK shopping centre, the technology is being used overseas in places including New York’s iconic department store Macys,” she says. “Retailers are comfortable with integrating consumers’ mobile habits into their stores and an increasing number realise that to counter the impact the internet shopping is having on sales, they have to do more than offer their own apps and Wi-Fi within their stores. Location-based technology allows them to use digital marketing strategies to improve the shopping experience.”

Stephen’s co-founder, Dave Mitchell, adds: “We’ve already seen that when shoppers receive targeted offers – based on where they are within the shopping centre – they’re more motivated and hence likely to use them and connect with the brand behind the offer. As well as building customer loyalty, the system enables retailers to gain data about their end users that previously has been beyond them – and help close the loop between the digital and bricks and mortar worlds.“


Sources: Retail Week and