Unacast’s latest Q4 Proxbook report confirms that bluetooth device deployments are on track and the numbers align with ABI Research’s forecast of 400 million bluetooth devices to be deployed by 2020. Last year, we saw big brands undertaking large-scale bluetooth deployments. And, this year started with Rite Aid’s announcement of initiating the largest bluetooth-deployment in a retail setting till date. Under the light of such developments, we bring you a comprehensive list of U.S. retailers that are making a mark with their bluetooth marketing campaigns.
1) Rite Aid
Rite Aid has installed bluetooth devices in over 4,500 US stores for retargeting and personalization of user experience. This large-scale deployment by the Pharmacy chain is the largest bluetooth installation program in a retail setting till date. In fact, it has even surpassed the one undertaken by the famous Macy’s. Rite Aid plans to employ these devices to focus on the creation of a digital infrastructure base that will enable the drug-store chain to link its stores to the Internet of Things (IoT), a collection of bluetooth-level data to strategize their retargeting plan and achieve personalization capabilities similar to those that have been used in e-commerce.
Target, the second largest general merchandise retailer in the US, announced that it will start testing bluetooth technology in 50 of its stores nationwide. The company plans to limit the number of beacon notifications to two push notifications per shopping trip, so as not to overwhelm customers with alerts. The recommendations, may appear both as push alerts and in-app updates on the Target app’s “Target Run” page, which is designed like a social media news feed offering deals, top-pinned items on Pinterest, and more. Target is initially testing the technology in 50 stores, in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Portland, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle.
Following a round of successful bluetooth device trials in New York and San Francisco, Macy’s expanded its bluetooth device program to all stores nationwide, by installing more than 4,000 devices. This step was a part of the retailer’s efforts to make bigger investments in omnichannel retail technologies. This Thanksgiving, Macy’s also used a bluetooth-triggered mobile app game at its 700 stores, to engage shoppers. Shoppers received push notifications triggered by their distance to bluetooth devices placed throughout the stores. These notifications encouraged them to participate in an engaging digital experience with a chance to instantly win $1 million Macy’s gift codes and other prizes.
4) Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters announced that they will be rolling out bluetooth devices at 15 of their stores located in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, and Delaware, more than a year ago. The US multichannel fashion and homewares retailer decided to take a different route unlike the conventional route of using aggressive promotions. They used their own app with the bluetooth devices plugged into the Urban On loyalty program, a section in the app that gives shoppers rewards and access to events. Also, their major focus was on using bluetooth devices in three in-store areas – the checkout line, fitting rooms and the entrance.
5) American Eagle Outfitters
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), in a partnership with Shopkick, launched bluetooth device networks in more than 100 of its top-performing stores located in states such as Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. The idea was to implement bluetooth technology at the stores with highest traffic levels and best traction with Shopkick.erce.6) Oscar Mayer
While most retailers were undertaking large-scale bluetooth deployments, Oscar Mayer worked out an interesting deal with the supermarkets which would allow them to place their Bluetooth devices at the deli counter. This location helps them convince shoppers to buy the specials of the week while waiting at the counter.7) McDonald’s
McDonald’s sought to enhance personal relationships with customers as well as promote a new line of coffee-flavoured beverages by leveraging a new proximity marketing strategy via Bluetooth technology at its 15 cafés in Istanbul. As a part of this program, the chain tapped a popular Turkish loyalty app called Shopping Genie, to target customers while they were around the premises of a local McD Café. Customers got mobile coupons, via the app, which prompted them to purchase a coffee and receive a beverage from the new drink line for free. This Bluetooth marketing campaign helped McDonald’s achieve 20% conversion rate with 30% of users who received the promotion.
Walgreens has innovated considerably in the mobile retail space by using Bluetooth technology and other technologies at over 7000 locations. Duane Reade, the largest drugstore chain in New York City, owned by Walgreens, leveraged Bluetooth technology at ten of its stores to boost its loyalty program. Walgreens implemented Bluetooth devices in its stores to alert passersby of offers and in-store coupons. They also did something more on the notifications front in the form of alerts as to what a user can do with the application, for example printing Instagram photos directly from the app or filling prescriptions automatically.
9) Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus, the high-end retail chain, piloted Bluetooth devices at three stores—Austin, TX, Walnut Creek, CA, and San Antonio. Their focus was on promoting in-store events such as trunk shows, guest designers, book signings and so on. The notifications would give out the time of the event and directions to the event happening on the day when a consumer is present at the store.
10) Best Buy
Best Buy implemented Bluetooth technology strategy to help boost sales and improve personalization of experience. The retail giant chose to use their own application as well as Shopkick retailing app to offer rewards to shoppers, simply for stepping foot in the door. There wasn’t much in-store promotion of products using Bluetooth devices.
Walmart launched a unique Bluetooth campaign trial in partnership with GE. The retail giant used GE light bulbs to house Bluetooth devices and send push notifications of specials and discount coupons to in-store customers. These Bluetooth device-equipped LED bulbs can track shoppers within a store by using the devices hidden inside them. This eliminated the need for such stores to buy separate Bluetooth device-related hardware.
12) Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole is using Bluetooth technology to create more compelling, personalized customer experiences with an aim to “provide value and offer at the time of need when customers are in the store”. The retailer saw a significant lift in app open rates and offer redemption rates after leveraging Bluetooth technology.
Nordstrom, a retailer based in Seattle, is using Bluetooth devices to bridge the gap between online shopping and in-store experience. Their Bluetooth device-enabled app notifies consumers if any item in their mobile shopping bag is in stock, as they pass by the store which has a Bluetooth device installed at its entrance. This helps Nordstrom provide an enriching online-to-offline shopping experience to its consumers.