07 Feb Small Business Technology Increases Mall Dwell Times with Beacon Data
Can beacons make small business technology more affordable and data-friendly? One shopping center in Marseille has tried it out. The results? Unbelievable.
Small business relies on repeat customers and good reviews. While every major department store can easily get a steady stream of visitors, the smaller the company, the bigger the fight for a place in the market. Big business us being transformed by big data, but can their smaller counterparts make use of it, too?
Traditionally, managers have tracked customers and store flow manually. Seeing what days and hours resulted in more or larger sales involved physically reviewing records. There are a lot of problems with this method. Firstly, the data isn’t exact. Maybe managers find that a lot of transactions happen at 12:30. Or is it 12:45? 12:15?
These are seemingly small difference. But those little mix-ups can completely disrupt results and obscure the real, overarching story data is trying to tell. How can affordable small business technology stack up against the heavy-duty guns of the big boys?
The Les Terasses Du Port PLUS app has since been downloaded over 69,650 times and even has a whopping 18 minutes average view time. The app has also rated in the top ten lifestyle apps in France in the app store.
Beacons Bring Data to Marseille Shopping Mall
One tech startup, Favendo, has been rolling out a beacon-based data collection solution, and they’ve had interesting results. Beacons are like small, smart radio transmitters that interact with the smart devices of passers-by.
The tech company started by installing beacons in the Les Terrasses du Port, a shopping center in Marseille with 190 shops. Favendo installed beacons not just to send push notifications but to understand how people were moved in the area.
The Favendo platform showed “hot spots” describing where customers cluster. The data could be grouped by day, time, gender, type of retailer, and even mobile operating system. More importantly, visualizations made this data easy to see. The solution suddenly made it very easy for managers to see where customers were going, but the insights didn’t end there.
The Best Small Business Technology Should Give the Best Insight
It’s useful to know that your Saturday customers are all iPhone users, or that they all visit the same three shops before coming to you. This data can lead to better decisions about staffing, signage, and marketing.
The staff at Les Terrasses du Port made one curious discovery: visitors really needed a snack while shopping.
By following the flow of customers, they found that many visited certain anchor stores and then either went to the restaurant or left. Not surprisingly, 72% of those who stopped to eat continued shopping after.
The big realization: the restaurant was often packed during peak times. This meant, those customers who wanted to stay longer weren’t able to. There was not enough space to accommodate them, and they left. The answer was obvious: make more space in the food court! As a result, customers had a better, less hangry, experience, and they felt energized enough to keep shopping.
This increased dwell times of all customers who visited the anchor store by 42%.
Connections and Visualizations, Easy
The true value of a solution like this isn’t just data. There are plenty of expensive solutions that generate data. Large companies have teams of data scientists and whole storages of data just so they can pick every interaction clean.
Small business technology must fill a certain niche; it must be powerful, easy-to-use, and cost-effective.
Beacons aren’t just affordable–they’re scalable, easily adaptable, and a popular playground for developers. Furthermore, beacons, and Favendo’s app, aren’t just for geniuses or companies with huge IT budgets. It’s for ordinary settings.
The right data (and beacon solution) should be easy to use. It should have modern and simple interfaces, and it should be relatively automated. You shouldn’t have to code. You need only slide or click and the program creates a visualization just for you. Visualizations are one of the most overlooked puzzle pieces in data. It’s easy to get excited about numbers, but you need to be able to share data with coworkers and superiors.
Small business technology is entering a new, beacon-ready era. Complete solution providers are making it easier than ever to switch to a connected system. They take care of almost everything, from planning and installation to software and apps. Even the data analysis is streamlined.
You can also test out beacon solutions for yourself in the Proximity Studio. We’re located right in the heart of Berlin.