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Grocers are gradually seeing the light and rolling out beacons in their stores.
Those hockey puck-to-quarter-sized devices are relatively inexpensive to deploy, and when placed around a grocery store, they offer the capability of transmitting via short-range Bluetooth to shoppers’ smartphones.
Here's how beacons work: A grocer carefully decides where to place them, usually near the entry and exit of the store. This allows the grocer to detect right away when shoppers enter the store, and provide some form of greeting and later an exit message.
The beacons can perhaps spur the shopper to buy the latest sale items in the store, as prompted by a message from the beacon. For example, the message the shopper gets might say that if she's there to get hot dogs, she should make sure to get the buns on sale in aisle 5, too.
If you're worried that your shoppers might get upset about these communiques, here's an important statistic, as based on Interactions' national poll: A majority of shoppers are open to the idea of merging mobile technology with their shopping experience, as 95 percent of women and 84 percent of men are willing to receive notifications from retailers while they shop.
However, this result doesn't mean that you can let go of your in-store staff. On the contrary, it's important to note that most shoppers (60 percent of men and 56 percent of women) would prefer to communicate with a store associate rather than via a mobile device.