Sometime we are asked is whether Beacons will send spammy messages to customers. Not surprisingly, it is a real concern, but in fact Beacons are highly ineffective at sending unwanted messages. If they were to send spam, this would quickly prove to be counterproductive to using them.

The reason why people often misunderstand this is because of the modification side of advertising through the Physical Web. Users who are nearby to Beacons will only see a list if they ask to. This is the default setting, so they can then choose whether to click on an interesting link. Proactive notifications are never received, although, of course, users can opt-in for notifications.

This is entirely right as otherwise potential customers would soon become irritated if their phone were to continually buzz whenever they walk or drive past a Beacon. It’s an approach that also prevents abuse of push notifications. The app used to scan for Beacons will only do so when the screen is on, so smartphone users are not interrupted. Only scanning in this way also has little impact on the battery life of a phone, something which is of major concern for most of us. Once the customer moves out of range of a Beacon, any notifications disappear within a few minutes.

Another thing people find confusing about Beacons is how they can work when customers have to actively want to tap on a link. Beacons are not for lazy advertisers which is why they will not work for spammers. Instead, they are for businesses who wish to actively engage with their customers by offering real and relevant information, incentives or rewards when consumers click on a link. Properly used, Beacons allow businesses to personalise the content provided to consumers, so they are the very opposite of spammy messages. It is a more modern approach towards providing excellent customer service, utilising a customer’s location to give a friendlier and more personal message, leading to better customer engagement.

In short, Beacons are for businesses who care about their customers and who want them to enjoy great service and products. The idea is to enrich their experience of shopping with you, but never to spam them.

If you care about your customers and want to provide them with an enhanced and enriched experience when shopping with you, contact BCM to find out how Beacons will help.