Hillshire Taps Beacons: 20X Purchase Intent Increase

While beacon trials are underway around the globe, some early and measurable results finally are starting to come in.

In what appears to be the first nationwide deployment, Hillshire Brands has some initial findings.

Purchase intent increased 20 times for those exposed to messages sent from beacons in grocery stores, according to an analysis by Hillshire agency BPN, part of the IPG Mediabrands global network. The agency measured the beacon activity against key brand metrics.

The campaign was deployed in the top 10 markets for grocers nationally and involved thousands of beacons that could send messages to iOS and Android phones.

The campaign targeted the launch of Hillshire’s new American Craft sausage links and showed a 36% increase in brand awareness as well as a lift in overall sales, according to BPN.



Shoppers using apps such as Epicurious, Zip List, Key Ring and CheckPoints could receive in-store messages.

For example, a CheckPoints app user received the message: “Looking for dinner ideas? Scan new Hillshire Farms American Craft sausages in the meat aisle for points.”

There were 6,000 in-store engagements in the first 48 hours of the two-month trial, which is now being extended to the Jimmy Dean Brand, according to BPN.

The purchase intent after beacon messaging was an increase of 500% over the CPG average for mobile ad engagement, says BPN.

“We started experimenting with location-based technologies and increased focus on mobile a year ago,” said David Ervin, director of integrated marketing for Hillshire Brands, the maker of Ball Park franks, Jimmy Dean sausage, Sara Lee and the Hillshire Farm portfolio of meat products.

Another major beacon trial is underway with beacons in stores on Regent Street in London, as I wrote about here last month (The Great iBeacon Rollout: 100 Stores on One Street).

All these trials are early and the masses of mobile users are hardly familiar with even the concept of beacons.

But research has shown that consumers are open to receiving relevant offers based on their location, which beacons obviously can facilitate.

(At the upcoming MediaPost OMMA mCommerce Conference, an expert panel will take a deep dive into the wide range of ongoing deployments in the panel Beacons, Beacons, Everywhere Beacons.)

Some retailers have told me they experimented with beacons but found scant usage. But they all are looking for the best use.

As with other aspects of mobile commerce, those experimenting and introducing beacon-based interactions with consumers will learn from them what works.

Even more importantly, they’re likely to learn what doesn’t.


Beacons and all the other major issues relating to mobile commerce will be discussed at the MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference in New York on Aug. 7. You can check out the agenda where you also can register to attend. Will I see you there?

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