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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : June 26, 2015

How beacons can fail and how to prevent that failure

In store beacons can give shoppers access to coupons and discounts, offer product information or even pricing options. But, if they don't work correctly, beacons can do damage to your brand. Her are three common issues with beacons and how retailers can overcome the obstacles.

by Kristina Knight

• Moisture, heat, cold and obstacles

"Beacons are indoor devices, so they are limited to interacting with shoppers already in the store--they do not attract passersby, so don't make the mistake of mounting a beacon outdoors. Due to its construction, ensure that your beacons are not mounted anywhere near heat, cold, moisture, electrical fields, mechanical moving objects or behind concrete, metal, or heavy wall materials. Its plastic casing is not able to withstand much abuse," said Alex Romanov, iSign Media CEO.

• Overconfidence and lack of diligence:

"The retailer that deploys beacons must not fall into a state of comfort. There is no way for the retailer to discover that the tiny coin cell has lost its charge or the circuit has failed, so constant monitoring is required. To advertise to your shoppers that you offer deals through their smartphones and failing to deliver is too great a risk that can seriously degrade your customer's trust. Ensure that you have a process in place to monitor beacon installations, or the system can fall apart quickly," said Romanov.

• Interference

"The antenna inside the beacon tag is about one inch long. Since it is just a tiny copper trace painted on the circuit board, it can also be rather directional. Plan on having your app developer "tweak" the app coding to overcome the interference problems and hopefully resolve the beacon most likely to be near where the user is standing," said Romanov. "Note that the concept that beacons can be used to precisely locate shoppers within the store (position based) is very difficult, so don't develop marketing campaigns that are anything more than nearness or "proximity based"."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: beacon advertising, beacons, ecommerce, iSign Media, retail beacons

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