CEO of Euclid Analytics’ Brent Franson believes that “beacons are already dead.” His company engagement and analytics solutions to retailer and his firm is happy to work with beacons.
This is, of course, if they did something customers actually wanted.
So what do Beacons do? They offer hyper-granular marketing directed at customers standing in specific spots in stores, such as if they were standing in front of a specific counter or register. The idea behind beacons has been that retailers could direct product info or a discount coupon about specific items at that counter to that customer’s smartphone, who would be standing right there.
According to Franson though, the reality is different for retailer-focused beacons. (There are, of course, use cases for beacons outside of retailers.)
It’s quite a lot of effort for that scenario to take place, firstly. The beacons have to constantly be installed and maintained, and maintenance on them can be problematic at times. This is because the devices are using short-range Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. There are vendors who integrate WiFi with their beacons or have other workaround solutions, although these solutions aren’t really standard.
Secondly, there is the issue that, when it comes to standard beacons, the consumer has to download a supported app. Some retailers will share the app, but it’s still a download. Google offers Eddystone beacons, which a URL to a compatible browser and don’t need an app, but the right browser is required. Eddystone isn’t widely deployed at this point in time.
In actuality, the reason Franson is bearish on beacons has to do with the current shopping habits of consumers.