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BLE Enhancing the Customer Experience in Retail

BLE Enhancing the Customer Experience in Retail

At present, one thing that has become the primary focus of retail stores, especially grocery stores, is the customer experience. Businesses are looking for ways to enhance customer experience inside the store while people shop and to also draw in more customers since people visiting retail stores has taken a hit post pandemic. With the rise of e-commerce and shift in customer expectations, drawing customers to the stores has become challenging. But that is not all, grocery stores also struggle with inventory issues and since many grocery items are FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), the risk of expiration of products is high. Keeping expired products inside store is also counterproductive. So what can be done? What is needed is technological solution integration inside grocery store and store inventory. Use of technology can free up employees to focus on more complicated tasks that need human intervention like attending customers and helping them, creating a wholesome, humanized shopping experience for customers.

When we talk about use of technology in retail stores, name of RFID and BLE comes naturally as these technologies are quite efficient and cost effective in long run. Let’s see how BLE can help enhance the customer experience in retail grocery store but before that let’s see what BLE is and what BLE beacons and BLE shelves are.

What is BLE and BLE beacon?

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a wireless technology that allows devices to communicate with each other over short distances. It was developed over Bluetooth specification and launched in 2010 with Bluetooth 4.0. What makes BLE different than classic Bluetooth is its ability to transmit data and advertise on a periodical interval and the low power consumption.

When BLE was developed, the aim was to provide all the facilities Bluetooth and Wi-Fi could provide but at low power consumption, which was missing earlier.

BLE beacons are BLE devices that are used to broadcast advertising signals on regular interval and advertise using the RF37, RF38 and RF39 channels in the ISM band. Since BLE uses only these three channels to advertise, it connects fast and doesn’t need to scan other 37 channels which are used for data transmission.

What is BLE Shelves?

BLE shelves are smart shelves based on Bluetooth Low Energy that are used in retail grocery stores to display product description, pricing and discounts if applicable, on small LED screens called ESL, like regular paper based product labels on shelves. These smart shelves use BLE beacons to track the inventory levels and location of products on the shelf and are very helpful in attracting consumers.

Since BLE shelves use less power the cost involves is quite less.

BLE shelves enhancing Item –level Visibility in retail Grocery stores:

1. Providing real-time data on stock availability

BLE shelves can send alerts to the store staff or the warehouse management system when a product is running low or out of stock which can help optimize replenishment and avoid lost sales. Avoiding ‘Out of stock’ scenario adds to better customer experience inside the store.

2. Enabling dynamic pricing and promotions with ESL

It can also be integrated with electronic shelf labels (ESL) that can display the current price and offer of a product. The price and offer can change according to demand, supply, expiration date or other factors. This can help attract more customers and boost sales.

3. Improving customer service and satisfaction

BLE shelves can also enhance the customer experience by advertising relevant and most selling/popular products on consumers’ smartphones when they are nearby. They can also enable customers to scan the products and pay with their phones, reducing checkout time and friction.

BLE enhancing customer experience in retail grocery stores

1. BLE for Personalized content delivery

BLE beacons can detect the presence and location of customers’ smartphones in the store and send them relevant and timely messages, offers, recommendations and information based on their preferences, behavior and purchase history.

2. BLE for Loyalty program enhancement

It can also be used to reward customers for visiting the store, browsing certain products, making purchases or completing other actions.

3. BLE allows Dynamic pricing

BLE beacons can be integrated with electronic shelf labels (ESL) to display real-time prices that change according to demand, supply, expiration date or other factors. This can help retailers reduce waste, optimize margins and attract customers with lower prices.

BLE is a cost effective and efficient tool that can advertise directly to customers’ smartphones within a short range. It can be used to personalized customer experience while customer is inside the store. Use of BLE and Electronic shelf labels in combination can give customers more information on items available, discounts and other sales offers, enhancing the overall in-store customer experience.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on May 16, 2023

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