Bluetooth beacons are hardware transmitters, class of low-energy Bluetooth devices that transmit their ID to neighboring mobile electronic devices. In close proximity to a beacon, the technology allows smartphones, tablets, and other devices to conduct activities.
Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy both are different things to appreciate BLE beacons.
Classic Bluetooth consumes high energy and transmits the Bluetooth headsets and speakers to lengthy ranges. However, less information is transmitted by Bluetooth Low Energy over a narrower spectrum, thus consuming much less energy. At periodic intervals, BLE beacons transfer tiny quantities of information.
Working of Bluetooth beacon
In essence, all you need to do is insert a particular set of bytes into your Bluetooth Low Energy device’s optional Manufacturer Specific Data field of the advertising packet.
Let take an example of a coffee shop with beacon deployment
They are transmitting signals within their range, In the spectrum of this, smartphones themselves indicate that smartphones are close by.
The Smartphone then returns to the cloud server the identification number connected to the signal. It could be a notice introducing a fresh cafe appetizer, combo deals, coffee making video, or a type of feedback.
The server responds to the action associated with the ID of the beacon. These notifications drive clients to a webpage, a form, a phone number or anything you’re planning to do.
Marketers attract towards Beacon:
They are an easy way to interact with clients for marketers, not only convenient but also meaningful and personalized in context. Few more reasons are:
- High click-through rates
- You do not require to build your own app to broadcast beacon campaigns
- Cost-effective marketing strategy: excellent ROI
- Online retargeting with Facebook and Google Adwords
- Measure offline analytics and customer behavior
- Small businesses out a tech the competition
It has two protocols one was made by Apple and the second one made by Google, So here is the small description of that.
- iBeacon: A protocol created by Apple that enables Smartphone apps to scan for a range of beacon signals and show the content when it is identified. It is suggested when companies want to use their own applications to operate Bluetooth marketing campaigns. Beaconstac SDK is an easy way for an iBeacon-compliant BLE network to allow proximity marketing and place analytics.
- Eddystone: An open protocol of interaction created by Google. Android Smartphone services scan for Eddy stone URLs and show any content broadcast by a Bluetooth beacon, whether or not an app is installed.
Myths about that
- They are a breach to users’ privacy: It is unable to access or store Smartphone data, they merely transmit equipment in their vicinity that sends contextual messages to users.
- Are they need their own native app in order to function: NearBee and its capability to morph into a business’s unique branding serving as an app within an app, there is no need for companies to develop their own app to operate a beacon.
- Creating a beacon campaign requires a developer: Not at all! It has streamlined the process of developing campaigns to the extent that anyone can do it, as well as having a variety of lovely current templates that customers merely need to edit according to their requirements.
Journey Begins 2013 to present
- 10th June 2013: At the World Wide Developer Conference, Apple introduces iBeacon as part of iOS 7.
- 10th November 2013: Titan installs 500 beacons for maintenance purposes in Manhattan phone booths.
- 6th December 2013: Apple installs beacons in all 254 of its US stores to provide in-store notification of products, product reviews, and deals to clients.
- 31st July 2014: In their stores, over 50 of the Top 100 US distributors are testing beacons.
- 12th August 2014: 3 UK shops test beacon technology in their mannequins in order to provide clients with rates and connections when they join the 50-meter variety of the beacon.
- 29th September 2014: The single biggest retail implementation of beacon technology happens when Macy’s installs more than 4,000 devices throughout its stores.
- 21st November 2014: Aruba Networks uses beacons to effectively implement “blue dot” indoor navigation. This provides an indoor navigation solution to Wi-Fi that is cheaper and lower in maintenance.
- Early 2015: Some of the biggest and most downloaded applications start incorporating beacons into their functionality, including Facebook and Shazam.
- 14th July 2015: Google is launching Eddystone, an Apple iBeacon platform-agnostic competitor, it is intended to provide your Smartphone with location-based content. With platform-wide compatibility, it seeks to encourage developers to work with beacon technology.
- 14th April 2016: Google announces Eddystone-EID, which transforms your phone into an encrypted goal when attached to a beacon – protecting users when attached.
- Late 2016: With consumers having to download applications to obtain marketing closeness from beacons, retail popularity starts to stall. Google operates, however, to enable individuals to use the function without downloading any applications, leading to popularity revival.
- Aug 2017: Bluetooth says that the technology of beacons will become the basis of the Internet of Things.
- Late 2017 — Present: Project Beacon pilots from Google.
15 Ways for small businesses to attract and retain customers
- Greet Customers When They Walk in the Door
- Create a Beacon-enabled App
- Use Third-party Apps
- Provide Content that Helps Shoppers
- Reward Customers with Loyalty Points
- Tap to Text the Owner, Manager
- Change Content Frequently
- Keep Track of Customers
- Link to Online Content
- Put Beacons in Other Locations
- Get Brands to Cover Costs, Run Program
- Geofence Around Competitors
- Interact with Specific Products
- Use Beacons and Geofencing at Events
- Partner with Other Businesses
Geofence vs Beacons
Beacons are tiny devices enabled by Bluetooth that is attached inside a shop to a wall or countertop. They detect the existence of a human being through the smartphone of the person and then provide contextual data.
Geofences do much the same but use GPS or RFID technology to expand the geographic variety and go beyond the interior of the store. Both are touchpoints intended to drive allegiance to customers and sales in-store.