Technology has been the front-runner in driving engagement and experience in consumers’ shopping journey. Apart from understanding consumers’ behavioural insights through advanced data analytics, emerging technologies such as IoT, AR and VR, Artificial Intelligence (AI), bots and drones, beacons, cloud-platforms, etc. have played a key role in enhancing consumers’ engagement more than ever.
With Food and beverages comprising 17.1% of the retail business alone, technology has given a new meaning to the technological advancement that’s happening at the restaurant front. We see lots of restaurants adopting web-based services and ordering. Globally, technologies like beacon technology is a mega hit at restaurants. Beacons are small, battery-operated wireless devices that transmit coded messages to nearby paired smart-phones using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Beacon technology has been slowly catching up in the consumer business since its introduction in 2013. “While major consumer companies continue to explore its applications, the technology has been estimated to have driven retail sales worth over USD44 billion in the US in 2017,” shared a Deloitte report. Since beacons deliver hyper contextualised content to users based on their location, they provide an extremely personalised experience to consumers and enhance their engagement with the brand. The technology is also leveraged majorly for proximity marketing and personalised recommendations, where consumers receive brand advertisements and suggestions if they pass through a nearby brand store.
Case study : A major fast food chain witnesses an increase in its conversion rate with the use of beacon technology
A major global fast food chain installed beacons at its select restaurants and partnered with a shopping app to distribute coupons amongst the app users. The company found pleasing outcomes of its technology drive:
- As a result of its proximity campaign, 30 percent of the consumers who received promotional content through beacons, visited the restaurant to buy beverages.
- The company estimated the conversion rate of this drive at around 20 percent. Similarly, a UK-based major FMCG company and major retailers across the US installed beacons and offered special privileges and discounts to consumers using the technology-enabled app. Retailers also leveraged the technology to enhance in-store experiences by linking it to their loyalty programmes and providing access to special in-store events.
Driven by technology and modernisation, the retail sector in India is at the cusp of evolution. Disruptions throughout the value chain – sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, procurement, warehousing and inventory, distribution, marketing and advertising, selling, logistics, delivery, after sales servicing, etc. – are driving this evolution, not just in retail but throughout the broader consumer business practices. While the consumer businesses majorly include consumer product focused sub-sectors such as food & beverages etc, added the report.