Beacons help retailers bring the connectivity of online shopping to physical retail outlets. They’re the perfect complement to Casambi’s flexible lighting control system.
Bricks-and-mortar retailers look at their online rivals with envy. No sales staff to employ, no high-street rents to pay, no displays to keep looking pristine, and none of those customers who spend ages browsing, only to whip out their smartphone and order what they’ve chosen from a competitor.
On the other hand, online retailers can’t match the experience that shoppers get in real-world stores: the feeling of being in the ‘home’ of the brand, the serendipity of browsing, and the excitement of seeing and touching products up close.
What if retailers could get the best of both worlds, applying the advantages of connected digital technology to real-word retail? That’s what beacons can offer.
Based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), beacons are tiny devices that can detect when other Bluetooth-enabled gadgets are nearby and communicate with them. The idea is that if someone carrying a phone or tablet comes within a few feet of a beacon, it can send messages to their device (provided they’ve got the relevant app and have given their permission, of course). Because it’s based on BLE, beacon technology is compatible with every smartphone, tablet and smart watch on the market today.
By providing targeted special offers, exclusive content and interactive promotions, beacons are a key tool for retailers to integrate the on and offline experiences.
But what do beacons have to do with lighting? On the face of it, nothing – until you consider what the two technologies have in common. Both luminaires and beacons need to be installed near to where shoppers will be in a store. Both need to be directed at items or areas of interest. And both need to be connected to power. So since the ceilings of retail stores are already covered with luminaires, they provide the perfect home for beacons to be installed too.
Beacons go together particularly well with luminaires that incorporate Casambi’s lighting control technology, which, like beacons, is based on BLE.
Casambi has now implemented iBeacon – one of the most widely used beacon protocols – in all its light control modules. So by choosing Casambi as a system to manage their lights, retailers can also reap the extra benefits of beacons, bringing the best of the online world to physical stores. And because it’s already built in to Casambi-enabled luminaires, there’s no extra cost for retailers who want to start reaping the benefits of beacons.
There are countless ways that retail outlets and other settings such as museums and exhibition spaces can use the beacon technology in Casambi-enabled luminaires to take the visitor experience to the next level.
For example, shoppers who pause by a display of shoes in a store can be sent a discount code, a link to a promotional video, or an app that lets them try out how the shoes look with different outfits. Or you might use a beacon to inform shoppers who look at a particular display about an upcoming in-store event.Museums and art galleries are another obvious application for beacons. Instead of using an audio guide, museum visitors can download an app that can to receive information from beacons built into Casambi-enabled luminaires. When the visitor comes near a particular artwork, the luminaire illuminating it can send them information about it, or a link to related media held online.
Beacons are a perfect complement to Casambi’s lighting control capabilities, which make it easier than ever to use light to create unique, memorable experiences in retail spaces. Retailers including sportswear brand Lululemon in London and Italian childrenswear store Preludio Junior are already enjoying the benefits of Casambi lighting control, which puts control of light in the hands of their staff, allowing them to alter the lighting quickly to go with ever-changing displays and designs.
Casambi also enables dynamic colour-changing lighting schemes, so your lighting can become a part of your branding, or your window displays can host colourful night-time displays. Lighting scenes can be programmed by time and date, so you can factor in opening times, public holidays and special events.
Casambi has already brought simple, powerful connectivity to lighting, and with the incorporation of beacons, the advantages now go way beyond light.