From Lots of Apps to One Beacon
1 year ago, Apple announced with pride that they have over 1.3 million apps in the app store. To them of course, this is a good thing. Users have downloaded over 75 billion applications and they visit the app store 300 million times per week. But is that actually good for you? It’s certainly something to consider now that Google has announced their Eddystone BLE Beacon.
When the app store first arrived and the “There’s an app for that” ad campaign rolled out, apps were everything. They made life easier and gave users an experience they had never before imagined. But now that we have access to over a million apps, most of which do things that don’t actually provide value, such as using your iPhone as a harmonica or measuring how long you can hold down on your iPhone screen, we have to ask ourselves, are apps really the best way to provide an amazing experience?
As a business, one of the tough questions you face is whether or not you should have an app. Apps can allow for your business to easily connect with your customers and better the customer experience. Whether this means offering digital promotions and loyalty programs or connecting with your customers through proximity based notifications, most businesses feel that they should have an app.
But when you really think about it, why would you spend a bunch of money to build an app? Your app would have to compete with over 1 million other apps, and then if you get lucky enough to have your customers download your app, you still have to compete with dozens of apps on the user’s phone. Luckily, there is an answer, and it was built specifically with you in mind.
Google changes the game with Eddystone BLE Beacons
A couple of weeks ago, Google announced Eddystone, which is a new BLE beacon broadcast that works with both Android and iOS. The Eddystone BLE beacon goal is to eliminate the need for anything to have an app. Using new BLE beacon technology, Eddystone allows for businesses and devices to connect with smartphones and other smart devices without having to have an app. Why is this important?
Before Eddystone, BLE beacon usage was limited to apps. If you wanted to engage your customers through proximity based BLE beacon signals, you would have to build an app. On top of this, you would need each customer to download that app in order for your BLE beacon signals to be enabled and viewed by the customer.
Google and Eddystone BLW Beacons have now changed this. Google built in the ability to receive BLE beacon signals into the Google Chrome Browser on your phone or the Google Now App. So now, anybody running one of these on their phone is eligible to receive an Eddystone BLE signal from a beacon. And although it sounds like you’re still using an “app” (Google Chrome Browser or Google Now), it’s not a specific app you have to download for one in-store or brand experience. It’s an app that you most likely use already for a number of other functions – it’s also native on the majority of Android Devices, plus it will let you access any Eddystone BLE Beacon. It’s a value add on to a browser app that already does a bunch of amazing things – like tell you the traffic from work to home without you even asking, and look. In simple terms:BEFORE: BLE Beacons required a specific app. Each brand, store, event, or experience would build their own app to interact with their own BLE Beacons – to offer an experience. AFTER: Eddystone BLE Beacons work with the existing Google Chrome Browser or Google Now App. You don’t need to build your own.
This allows for businesses to participate in proximity based customer engagement without having their own app. This also allows businesses to give the customer an amazing experience without having to force them to download a new app. So Google Eddystone BLE Beacons gives anybody the ability to utilize beacons and customers the ultimate experience.
The reason that this is possible is because Google has begun to work on a more app-less future. And they call it the Physical Web. The Physical Web will allow smart devices connected to the internet of things (IoT) – Eddystone BLE Beacons are part of this – to work without an app. But you can read more about that here. Or you can continue to find out how Eddystone will eliminate more of your headaches, below.
Eddystone BLE Beacons Help Unlock The Full Customer Value Chain With Mobile WalletYou can replicate your planned App experience with BLE Beacons and Mobile Wallet at a fraction of the cost.
First, think about what you might want from an app for your business. You might want to display promotions, give digital coupons, allow for on-phone redemption and for customers to fully experience what your business has to offer. And as touched on earlier, this is now possible-without the need for an app – partly with Eddystone BLE Beacons, but fully with Mobile Wallet.
First let’s cover the Mobile Wallet portion. Using OMMPass Mobile Wallet Designer and you can have digital memberships and digital loyalty cards that are easy to distribute. They also easily connect you to your customers. These integrate directly into Apple’s Passbook (native – already on the phone) and Google Wallet, which Android users most likely have already downloaded. These passes also integrate with BLE technology and allow for businesses to send proximity based notifications/updates as well as lock-screen notifications, alerting the customer of any new promotions.
Secondly, you may be interested in having the ability for your customers to view your site, this would allow for them to fully experience what your business has to offer. If utilising the mobile wallet, all you need is a mobile website, which you should have anyway. The mobile wallet is capable of sending customers directly to your website through links that are built directly into the back of the pass. But what if you want a more targeted interactive experience?
Enter Eddystone-URL. Eddystone BLE Beacons have the ability to send a URL directly to any user based on their proximity. This allows for a business to send out relevant information to their consumers without an app. For example, instead of a restaurant needing an app in order for customers to view their menu and place an order, they can build it into a website and push a proximity based notification with the URL via an Eddystone BLE Beacon right to the customers phone. This would allow for the customer to receive this link as they sit down at table, just the same as if the restaurant had a beacon enabled app.
Lastly, once at a table. Another Eddystone BLE beacon can push the user to download a digital coupon to their native mobile wallet – offering a brand experience or discount. Instead of forcing them to download an app, they can eat and enjoy the experience.
Key Eddystone BLE Beacon takeaway
Eddystone BLE Beacons and Physical web are very new technologies that are going to be improved and will also continue change the way you interact with smart devices. But even upon initial release, the impact is huge. As Eddystone, Physical Web, and the mobile wallet grow, connecting with consumers will become more personal and easier than ever.
Major Beacon Barriers Broken
Major BLE Beacon barriers, which might have stopped you in the past, have been broken. Google has begun to create a world where businesses and devices can connect with users without an app, giving access to everyone in Physical Web with products like Eddystone BLE Beacons.