Industry analysts have predicted beacon ubiquity within a few years, but what does this mean for your business right now? Tech giants like Apple and PayPal, as well as startups like Kontakt.io, Estimote and Swirl have entered the space making beacon technology accessible to anyone with an app! The explosion of supply has lowered the price and increased the ease-of-use and functionality of beacons to the point that they are within reach for even small restaurants.
The Supporting Data
More than 90% of sales are still occurring in physical businesses (as opposed to online), and a majority of consumers are using their mobile devices during their visit. Because of this, restaurants, stores, and advertisers will have a unique opportunity to engage and influence customers where and when it matters most -- on premise at the point of purchase.
Let's talk about the bottom line. A Business Insider Intelligence study predicts that U.S. on-premise sales "influenced by beacon-triggered messages" will jump from $4.1 billion in 2015 to $44.4 billion in 2016.
Again, the potential for beacon use in restaurants and bars are endless, but while the technology is being refined, how can you incorporate this into your restaurant marketing strategy today? Below are 3 easy ways you can realistically use beacons in your restaurant or bar!
Beacon Use Cases
How valuable is it to be able to reach your customers as they are walking by? Use Beacons to be able to identify potential customers with your app who are nearby, and send them a quick notification for a free drink with their next order! Better yet, have a loyalty program in your app? Use beacons to notify customers who are close to getting that 7th free sandwich. Drive them into your store and increase transaction value.
This is a great way to drive app downloads. Every restaurant owner loves a customer who is loyal and beacons make it easy to reward them. Create a special menu item or a secret menu that only your loyal customers have access to. When they enter your establishment they will be notified via push notification of everything available to them. Make sure you are spreading the word about this opportunity to increase downloads of your app.
Partner With an App Already Using Beacon Technology
If you don't have an existing app for your brand, no worries! Beacon Technology can be available to you through other platforms. The mobile payment app Dash, for example, uses Beacon Technology to help restaurant owners get much more out of their solution. It works like this: when anyone with the Dash app walks by participating restaurant locations, they will get a push notification set up by the merchant. This could be anything from notifying them that they can use Dash to pay their bill, to swaying them with discounts. Incorporating beacons into their app also gives merchants valuable insight into the actions of specific customers -- what they are ordering, how often they eat there etc.
Rockbot also uses Beacons to target anyone with our app who is in the vicinity of a participating location. We then send them a push notification greeting them by name, notifying them that the bar they are near uses Rockbot and that we have added one of their favorite songs to the queue.
We will leave you with this! Swirl Networks ran a study that found that nearly 75 percent of customers who received beacon-triggered messages said it increased their likelihood of purchasing in store. Let beacons into your marketing strategy and see if you find results as well!
To learn more about beacons for your restaurant or bar, click the link below to download our comprehensive whitepaper, Beacons and the Personalization of On-Premise Experience.