Beacons are not just for shopping. While much attention is on beaconing at retail, there's great potential in other areas, especially to provide offers and services. A good example is the new beacon implementation at the San Diego Marriott Marquis, which I recently checked out.
The world of mobile app shopping just got a boost. Shopkick, the in-store shopping rewards app, was just acquired by SK Planet for $200 million cash. The purchase by SK Planet, which is part of SK Telecom, South Korea's largest mobile carrier, gives Shopkick additional resources for international expansion.
Consumers can find gems inside travel apps even if some are not front and center in the travel industry. Addressing an audience in San Diego earlier today, I asked how many of the hundreds of Fortune 500 business execs in attendance used mobile for airline check-ins and almost all responded that they did.
The influence of mobile on coming holiday sales is starting to be projected as a portion of the more than $900 billion spending expected. Total in-store and online holiday sales are going to increase 5% from last year, reaching up to $986 billion, according to the latest annual forecast.
The beacons are beginning to shine. After months of trials and experiments, more results of beaconing are surfacing and marketers and brands are learning what works. Back in June, beacons were introduced to the 135 upscale stores, restaurants and bars on the famed Regent Street in London.
As holiday sales forecasts start to come in, retailers tapping into mobile could be facing a good season. Even well before Halloween, various entities are predicting and forecasting a relatively strong shopping season overall. Online retailers again will face off against the brick and mortar world with mobile shoppers totally empowered to go either route.
Nearly half of shoppers who are beaconed during a shopping trip engage with the messaging they receive but marketers who over beacon do so at their own peril. Receiving more than one beacon-triggered message during an in-store shopping trip can cause consumers to stop using an app for a period of time and, in many cases, delete the app.
The early holiday shopping forecasts are starting to come out and beacons are making the list. Since just about every shopper has a smartphone, retailers are looking for new ways to bring the digital and physical shopping experiences together, with beacons high on the agenda.
The returns and exchange parts of shopping are becoming more, well, mobile, at least at one major retailer. Sears just expanded a service that lets mobile consumers return and exchange items without getting out of their car. The idea is that a shopper with an item to either return or exchange, and a smartphone, can do so without going into the store.
The best testing ground for consumers looking to try out mobile payments for the first time just may be Subway. Want to try out Apple Pay? Subway has it. Softcard? Check. Pay by the Subway app? No problem.