In the trajectory of online to offline, retailers are increasingly exploring new ways to connect consumers to physical store locations and close the loop. With that being said, many have contributed to the hype of beacon technology mobile payment systems. But instead of asking what the benefits of brand adoption we should be asking, are customers doing the same? 2016 is just around the corner, and we can’t help but wonder if the insecurities consumers face about their technologies will subside and help meet brand adoption of these technologies.
Hype With Brand AdoptionBeginning in 2014 we saw Shopkick roll out their beacons to retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy, JC Penney, and others to provide mobile coupons in-store. Other retailers like the jewelry and accessories company, Alex and Ani, have used beacons within their stores to understand data about consumer behaviors and test the effectiveness of merchandising and store layouts. Clearly, for brands of all sizes, there is excitement around the use of beacon technology because of the possibilities that this could hold.
As for the emergence of mobile wallets, the hype has definitely been established, but not to the extent of beacons. The image below provided by tom’s guide displays the growing amount of locations where mobile wallets are being accepted, and which devices support these wallets.
Image via tom’s guide
According to Gartner, the global market for mobile payments is expected to be worth $720 billion transactions by 2017. With mobile wallets, the promise of convenience is certainly there for progressive customers. And with Apple, Samsung and Google in on the action with their own solutions there is a lot of money to be made.
The appeal brands have for both beacon technology and mobile wallets derives from a few set of facts:
- Customers are mobile. 90% of American adults own a cell phone
- Customers use apps. Mobile app engagement has increased by 63% over the past two years
- Customers are reluctant to share their data. Consumers data from mobile wallets and beacons will help brands create more defined ads.
And while there are stats that prove both of these new technologies can be profitable, they all rely on one key component: the adoption of technology by customers. Without this, the percentage of customers who receive beacon coupons and the amount of stores that accept mobile wallets will hault.
Lack of Consumer AdoptionAs we know all too well, brands are rushing to the flood gates with these new technologies, but the main appeals that brands see (mentioned in facts above) are actually the biggest insecurities that users face. Today customers are downloading apps to block mobile advertisements, muting posts on social media and even unsubscribing from CRM campaigns. In order for customers to adopt bridging technologies like beacon technology and mobile wallets, brands using technologies must identify and satisfy customer needs and provide true, actionable value.
Filling the Gap in 2016Creating a custom audience or speeding up the payment process to provide relevant discounts and deals for users is more complex than just integrating technologies. Like with every new technology, user adoption will take time. To truly fill the gap, the best thing your brand can do is to prepare each store location. You must cleanse update, and push the strongest data possible to a defined user base and understand of the market of each store location. Without establishing this basis, occurrences like ad blocking, location disabling and lack of adoption will continue to be the reality for the connected local consumer.
You can obtain a free digital Brand Scan to get a head start on 2016 and prepare you store locations below.