Retailers: Don’t Spend Your Hard-Earned Money to Get Consumers to Spend Theirs

At NRF’s The BIG Show, I’m hearing that “i” will be everywhere. But the only place that, as a retailer, I would want to be is in the Intel booth #2543 seeing the new ways in which I can keep more money in my pocket while helping consumers more confidently – and quickly – spend theirs in my store. Specifically I would want to learn how I can quickly introduce proximity-driven customer engagements – and location-based, wallet-less checkout – to keep more customers coming back, even if for shorter but more meaningful visits.

Let me explain: Half of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. are said to be testing beacons this year,and it’s predicted they’ll be installed in one-third of store locations by the end of 2015. You may even be one of those considering the viability of this omni-channel experience technology. And thanks to Apple’s aggressive push to be the mobile platform for retail, there is buzz about the potential of iBeacons. But, it’s a buzz proving to be just noise as retailers recognize that arming a store associate with an iPad and adding an iBeacon into the existing retail tech mix isn’t going to give them a mass-market “power-up-and-play” proximity-driven interaction. Apple’s closed environment works great for Apple; not so much for retailers. After you spend around $800 per iPad – let’s say for a total cost of $4800 – you’ll only be able to give six associates a basic tablet that likely won’t speak with any of your other infrastructure, software or info systems and that doesn’t have the “protection” against bumps, drops and other handling accidents that a rugged tablet or carrying case (yes, another expense) will provide. And you still have to invest in the beacon infrastructure. For one location. To be able to reach just the iOS-carrying customer crowd. Factor in the costs to overhaul all the other components across all locations and you might as well just accept that you’re taking a very expensive shot-in-the-dark at a new technology system that may or may not do what you want it to do.Then you’ll still have to figure out a way to implement beacon technologies that talk to other device formats, including Android devices.

Beacons and Tablets for Retail Intelligence

Now, there’s always another option: Find a solution that doesn’t require you to stack all your cards in one house. Go with a mobility structure that provides an open environment for growth; one that allows all players to have a significant role in the beacon game and ultimately encourages competing platforms (such as iBeacon and AltBeacon) to co-exist and complement each other’s strengths. In most cases, you can stay confident that the technology you’ve already invested so significantly in for so many years – such as the tablets and POS software that have helped you achieve such significant growth so far – will continue to prove a viable foundation for your evolving needs.

There’s a reason why retailers haven’t entered the Apple world in full force yet and why technology from companies such as Motion Computing, Intel and Radius Networks continue to rise to the top of the market share rankings year after year. We don’t need our name to be front and center with your customers; we want yours to be the name customer remember because it was your store that was first to add on cool new experiences such as Proximity-Driven engagement. Helping you quickly integrate a single incremental technology such as Bluetooth beacons into the current IT fold – and letting you take the credit with consumers for making it work so well – is a win-win for all of us.

That’s why, at this year’s NRF The BIG SHOW, we are proving why there’s no “i” needed in our team – or yours. With a little time, thought leadership and technology from Motion, Intel and Radius Networks, you’ll see why there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t turn a “Point of Sale” into a “Point of Service” using technologies in your existing store infrastructure. No tablet-tossing, wasteful spending, excessive time or “what if it doesn’t work?” worrying necessary.

If you’re at the show, you’ll see how the retail-hardened, Intel-powered Motion tablets that you already have – or could easily have – working hard for you in stores can stretch your dollars even further by helping you more quickly acknowledge, serve and satisfy your customers by simply adding on Radius Networks’ RadBeacon Bluetooth Smart TM proximity beacons. Radius’ RadBeacons deliver both the iBeacon and AltBeacon technologies in a single platform that is compatible with your current technology and all consumer devices. No iPad – or iAnythingelse – required for operation. That “plug-in, power-on and play” promise is one that we deliver on every day. So, If you’re in New York this week, then check us out at NRF’s The BIG Show to see a demo and learn more.