Not too many years ago, we would not have been able to predict our reliance on the GPS maps that we now routinely access on our mobile devices. GPS changed us forever. No problem if you’ve forgotten the shortest route to the hairdresser – Siri will direct you. But this time-saving technology has not yet been available in most South African indoor venues. This, too, is set to change.
Worldwide, the retail and services landscapes are going through massive transitions. E-commerce is stepping up its relentless march – and, as is evident on our streets, the number of delivery vehicles and drones are multiplying by the minute. The only way to make your on-foot, loyal customer base come back and back for more retail therapy is to install an integrated wayfinding solution. This way their experiences will be as effortless and enjoyable as possible. You would much rather spend time in your desired destination than waste time looking for it – not true?
Easy, on-demand navigation promises great benefits. This is why we are seeing more and more organisations investing in Indoor Positioning and Navigation Systems. Think of it as digital signage. The navigation can even be adjusted depending on the time it takes for a person to get from one place to another and update their expected time of arrival – a boon for airports, one would imagine.
Bluetooth beacons are now making it possible for a customer to walk into an expansive shopping mall, exhibition centre or a hospital, and instantly know their location in relation to their desired destination. The network makes use of a predefined route hierarchy to guide the pedestrians. Visitors can instantly be redirected if there are long queues or other obstacles. And – provided the app and Bluetooth are activated – relevant advertising, promotional offers and coupons can be delivered to potential customers in the immediate vicinity of a store. More good news is that personalised, location-based marketing routinely delivers responses of up to 80% – and, due to the proximity factor, better conversion rates.
Navigation systems benefit not only customers. Low-energy Bluetooth wayfinding beacons have seen businesses reduce operating costs by up to 25%. Not only can this technology provide turn-by-turn directions to passengers on a cruise ship, but it also enables employees to determine the shortest route to a container in a storage facility. Imagine the time saving.
iBeacons are small, easy-to-mount transmitters which are much more reliable than GPS. GPS becomes erratic in buildings where a multitude of human bodies and metal structures can absorb the signal. A Bluetooth bandwidth solution enables optimal location accuracy compared to GPS or assisted WiFi triangulation which only deliver accuracy of 20 and 5 meters respectively.
A notable case study is that of the wine route, Ribera del Duero, in Spain. Prior to the wayfinding beacons being installed, 80 000 tourists used to visit the region annually. Five years after introducing Bluetooth Wayfinding Beacons the number of jolly, Euro-spending adventurers had shot up to over 270 000.
The potential of improved revenue streams has seen this technology leapfrog tools such as NFC and QR. Unlike these two technologies there is no need for users to actively engage and scan information before using the app. In fact, Technavio estimates that the Bluetooth Beacon market is already worth around $8bn p.a. – and that it is still growing.
Time to find your way to our solution? Contactmsleads@altron.com