With Apple’s iBeacons generating excitement around the marketing possibilities of geolocation technology, brands are presented with a new tool to push discounts to hungry consumers. For food brands, which L2’s recent Digital IQ Index: Food study found to be lagging in their coupon delivery, iBeacon technology could be an effective solution to reaching consumers with the latest offers.
Price-sensitive and deal-savvy customers are prolific in the food category. Last year, consumers redeemed approximately 40% of all available food coupons. Yet, L2’s Food study found that only 24% of the 85 food brands offered coupons on their brand sites. This lack of coupon availability represents a missed opportunity for brands to engage with customers, especially when it comes to discount-hungry, digitally adept millennials, 92% of whom have downloaded coupons onto a retailer loyalty card as a form of pre-shopping.
Apple’s iBeacons, which uses tiny GPS devices to notify other iOS 7 services of its presence, may give food brands the perfect platform to push coupons directly to consumers. The iBeacon activates nearby smartphones to display ads and coupons, enabling consumers can see the latest discounts immediately when they walk into a grocery store. 90% of smartphone owners use their smartphone in store for grocery shopping, so the adoption of this technology could have great potential for food brands. Certain Duane Reade stores in New York City now host this exciting, though still nascent, technology, and grocery chains Safeway and Giant Eagle are experimenting with iBeacons. These locations are laying the groundwork for food brands to take advantage of this new technology. If iBeacons are successfully implemented in stores, food companies will have the perfect platform to directly message consumers, increase brand engagement, and hopefully produce a lift in their product sales.
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