Commentary

Lord & Taylor Goes All In on Beacons; Urban Outfitters Launches

The beacon tidal wave is growing.

Following a successful three-month trial of beacons in several of its stores, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), which owns Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, is rolling out beacons in all of its U.S. and Canadian stores.

Ryan Craver, SVP and chief of staff at Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, made the announcement at the MediaPost IoT: Beacons conference in New York yesterday.

“We’re going to roll them out to all stores in the U.S. and Canada,” said Craver. “We will have beacons that are utilizing the Swirl platform by the end of this month.”

The rollout means that beacons will be in all Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay stores for the busiest shopping time of the year.

Lord & Taylor was the first major retailer to move to large-scale beacon deployment back in July, as I wrote about here at the time (Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay Go Big on Beacons).

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Since then, Macy’s followed suit by launching a beacon deployment with Shopkick in all its stores (4,000 Beacons Coming to All Macy’s Stores), also in time for the holiday shopping season.

HBC operates more than 130 Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay department stores and all will be beacon-equipped, sending shoppers messages as they enter the store and pass by certain merchandise.

The full North America rollout was driven by results. Craver said that across the board, results have been in the high 50 percentage rate, in terms of engaging with the actual push message.

In the click-to-claim coupons area, results have been in the high 20 percentages.

In its early beacon trials, there were six to eight different experiences or campaigns per store, Craver told me yesterday. Over time, the retailer learned what worked and now limits the number of messages to three per visit.

I actually noticed this during one of my regular Lord & Taylor beacon runs last week, in that I received fewer messages.

This is consistent with research conducted by InMarket, which runs a beacon platform, most noted for its work with a new product launch for Hillshire (Hillshire Taps Beacons: 20X Purchase Intent Increase).

The InMarket study of 100,000 mobile shoppers found that there are limits to how many beaconed messages should be sent (Beaconed Once: 45% Engagement; Beaconed Twice: 313% Drop in App Usage)

And now Urban Outfitters will start to learn what kind of beaconing works in their stores.

The specialty retailer, with more than 200 stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe, has just started to install beacons to send special content to in-store shoppers.

Unlike most major beacon retail implementation, this one runs on Android devices rather than iPhones using the Swirl platform.

Stay tuned: more are coming.

2 comments about "Lord & Taylor Goes All In on Beacons; Urban Outfitters Launches".
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  1. Henry Blaufox from Dragon360, November 5, 2014 at 10:57 a.m.

    Key takeaway: " limits to how many beaconed messages should be sent (Beaconed Once: 45% Engagement; Beaconed Twice: 313% Drop in App Usage)" In other words, stop pestering me. Remember decades ago, the original Barney's clothing store touted it's "just looking" button to let potential shoppers know that salespeople wouldn't hover if you just wanted to browse the store?

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, November 5, 2014 at 12:06 p.m.

    Right, Henry, retailers are learning what does -- and does not -- resonate with its beaconed customers.

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