Beacon Update: Two Case Studies of Retail Beacon Deployments Which Showed Impressive Results

Chow Tai Fook:

Chinese Jewelry brand Chow Tai Fook explored an opportunity using the beacon technology within WeChat mobile text and voice messaging service and Sensoro. The program generated more than $16 million in sales for the retailer. During the Chinese New Year 2015, beacons were deployed in 237 Chow Tai Fook stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The jewelry brand worked with beacon technology provider, Sensoro, to deploy beacons in its stores.

As part of the program, e-coupons were delivered to the customers with a shake feature on their smartphones. The users then launched WeChat and entered a shake page. When the user was near the store, a proximity icon appeared on the bottom left corner of the phone that allowed the customer to use the shake feature to avail the store’s coupon. About 32,712 customers participated in the program with a total Shake count of 152,325. The average Shake count per customer was measured to be 4.76.

The jewelry retailer leveraged the WeChat app, which has one of the largest user bases in China, as it eliminated the need for an app installation request. As WeChat is a widely used app, customer awareness of the technology was high, which facilitated easier retailer-to-customer communication. The participation rate of customers was high because it was through a social app instead of the brand’s app or beacon network app.

About Chow Tai Fook:

Chow Thai Fook is one of Asia’s largest luxury jewelry retailers, with more than 2,000 stores in greater China, Malaysia and Singapore. The retailer was featured among Asia’s Fab 50 companies in 2014 Forbes List. The brand was started in 1929 and is one of the world’s largest jewelers by stock market value. The jewelry brand bought U.S. diamond manufacturer Hearts On Fire for $150 million.

Lord and Taylor:

Lord and Taylor, a Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) that operates more than 130 Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay department stores, adopted a more systematic approach in deploying beacons.

In the initial phase, the retailer began testing a location-based coupon app called SnipSnap in the month of May 2014. The test involved sending mystery coupons to users, when they were within 500 meters of a store. By the end of July 2014, HBC announced that they would be rolling out beacons across select U.S. and Canadian stores. The engagement with push messages was as high as 50 percent and the ‘click-to-claim’ coupons showed 20 percent results.

The initial three-month long trial showed impressive results, which led to large-scale beacon deployment across all of its U.S and Canadian stores.

Like Chow Tai Fook, Hudson’s Bay Company also launched their beacon campaign with third party apps, rather than their own app. It helped maximize audience reach, and acquired new customers rather than solely targeting their own customers.