Why beacons are dying. Read Cyrus’s article in Retail Week
In a recent article for Retail Week, Cyrus Gilbert-Rolfe, our CEO, discusses why beacon technology is failing to live up to its promise.
“Beacons are the Amstrad Superphone of today”
Interest has been high and many retailers, such as Tesco and John Lewis, have gone as far as pilots – understandably, as the potential benefits to understand customer behaviour and to interact on a more personal level are exciting. But the end result of beacon pilots is consistently the same, Cyrus argues that the grand promise of beacons is lost in the real world because the cost-benefit analysis of the one-trick pony beacon hardware doesn’t stack up. Beacons are the Amstrad Superphone of today. In 2002, video calling was a Star Trek idea, rejected by most consumers as something they would hate. Today, people sit on the train home with FaceTime and a headset, and nobody bats an eyelid. They didn’t want to buy a device purely to achieve that goal, but as an option it’s great.
“The next wave of platform solutions for customer interaction will be hardware-based … delivering an array of solutions not just for for proximity marketing, but counting, analytics, mobile payments and more.”
Today, Movvo’s technology will allow you to locate any opted in user within 1m2 of where they are standing, and communicate with them based on their context. Cyrus’s point is that If Movvo can do it today, soon there will be more, as is the way with technology.
In an industry often built on sometimes haphazard placement of cheap kit, offering limited value, the way forward is a platform that’s scalable at an enterprise level, that utilises robust unobtrusive hardware, and that properly supports retailers goals and decision making across a range of activities.
Whilst believing that beacons are a wasted investment, Cyrus is very positive about proximity technology, suggesting that as the market evolves it will become more refined, offering “very personalised, inclusive messaging that increases loyalty and improves the customer experience”. And who wouldn’t want that?