The combination of emerging proximity technologies for in-store mobile marketing and the growing popularity of mobile coupons will see 1.6bn coupons deployed annually via Bluetooth low energy beacons by 2020, according to a new study by Juniper Research.
Currently, just 11m coupons are delivered a year using proximity marketing technology. While the technology is still relatively new, it has seen several high profile brands adopt beacons, such as US retailer Macy’s, which recently installed more than 4,000 across its stores.
In-store beacons have consistently generated high redemption rates when used, with a campaign by Chinese jewellery chain CTF in early 2015 resulting in redemption rates of close to 60 per cent, and sales uplift of $16m (£10.6m).
Meanwhile, more and more beacons are being deployed outside stores, with UK firm Proxama implementing beacon deployments in airports and shopping malls, and on buses and taxis. These ‘open beacon’ solutions could serve to drive both footfall and engagement for brands, and serve as a vital tool in encouraging new customers.
The growth of NFC adoption following the launch of Apple Pay will also serve to accelerate the strength of beacon couponing, as consumers become more aware of the opportunities for savings found in proximity marketing tools.
“The launch of Apple Pay dramatically increase public and retail awareness of NFC,” said Dr Windsor Holden, author of the research paper. “As contactless usage accelerates at point of sale, retailers will then to move to incorporate NFC at all stages of the customer lifecycle, including loyalty and engagement.”
The report did warn, however, that excessive use of beacon technology could hamper progress, as consumers become annoyed at constant, indiscriminate messaging. US retailer Target, which limits push notifications (including coupons and special offers) to two per visit was held up as an example of responsible, moderated use.