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How inMarket Helped Drive $14.5 Billion In Retail Sales Over Black Friday

Signs indicate that beacons can boost in-store purchases the rest of the year as well.

As a result of an overwhelming majority of holiday shoppers relying on their smartphones to assist their purchase decisions, inMarket says its beacon platform was able to influence $14.5 billion in sales over Black Friday.

According to comScore, inMarket reaches 50 million monthly active app users — a gain of 370 percent over the same time last year. Put another way, as of Q4 2016, inMarket has access to more than one out of every four mobile phone owners in the U.S. via top shopping apps in its beacon network.

The connected consumer and retail: beacons are becoming a crucial bridge for marketers in stores.
The connected consumer and retail: beacons are becoming a crucial bridge for marketers in stores.

Scaling Up Consumers And Clients

That scale among smartphone-toting shoppers was part of the reason the Los Angeles beacon platform was able to tap into the post-Thanksgiving weekend’s sales success.

The company describes the momentum it saw during the start of the holiday shopping season as part of a “perfect storm of consumer behavior and tech maturity” has made beacon-based mobile campaigns a mainstream marketing tool.

Aside from the jump in the number of consumers it can connect retailers with, inMarket posted a 223 percent growth in its beacon client roster from last year.

“Greater retail scale is part of it, but really it’s a perfect storm of consumer behavior and the fact that people expect their phones to be smarter these days,” Dave Heinzinger, VP, Communications of inMarket, told GeoMarketing.

“More people are opting in to location for the value exchange, more are using  — Apple did get rid of the headphone jack — and most importantly, more than ever are relying on their phones to help them inside the store,” Heinzinger added.

The 223 percent increase in business is a byproduct of that scale, he said. The reason is that “advertisers know they can get value from beacons at scale — and the ecosystem has matured where these campaigns are really outstanding,” Heinzinger said.

The company works with over 200 major brands and retailers like Heineken, Clorox, Energizer, and Rite Aid, which began prepping the largest single-retailer beacon rollout across its 4,600 stores late last year. Clients, such as Johnsonville Sausage, saw a 24 percent sales lift versus a control stores, thanks to in-store mobile engagement via inMarket.

“Over our six-plus year history, we’ve seen a lot of trends in the echo chamber. The guiding light for us has been to drive value for consumers enabled by new technology. We focus on the user, not the tech or the hardware,” said Todd Dipaola, inMarket’s CEO.

Beacons Become Mainstream

inMarket pointed to stats that say that 84 percent of shoppers use their mobile devices inside stores. On top of that,  55 percent of shoppers using their phones specifically to help them find places and prices for products they’re looking to buy. As such, the need to create “contextual, beacon-triggered mobile moments have become more impactful than ever before,” Dipaola said.

The appeal of proximity for consumers and retailers is clear, particularly because the immediacy of opt-in, online marketing messages based on the specific spot a shopper is in.

Beacons allow consumers to conjure a virtual sales assistant via an app as they evaluate the items on shelves and racks in front of them. By way of proving that point, inMarket says beacon-triggered “mobile moments” perform 5x higher than traditional mobile engagements (45 percent v. 9 percent standard placements).

“The world has never experienced a more disruptive or relied-upon technology than mobile, and I have never seen anything as powerful within mobile as the precision data and personalized experiences created from beacons,” Dipaola said. “The hundreds of partners in our beacosystem agree.”