Google Beacon and How it Will Help Small Businesses

Recently, Stand And Stretch was contacted by Google about participating in an upcoming program. (As techies, we like being on the ground floor of breakouts like this! So as you can imagine, this was pretty exciting.)

Known as Beacon, the program comes with a small homing device (our words, not theirs) that helps track customers when they’re present. It’s a new idea that can help change the way all sizes of businesses operate. Not to mention the ability to provide more and more accurate information for the consumer.

Basically, it’s a way for businesses to share more about their brand and letting customers have easier access to insider info.

How Google Beacon Works

The obvious questions come with logistics. How will Beacon work? Will it invade privacy? And should customers be worried about it. In reality, it’s a non-invasive program, and chances are, customers won’t even notice Beacon is working behind the scenes (that is, until it asks for a review!). It works by locating nearby phones through location sensors and transmitting that data to Google. Beacon does not pull from phones or look at any sensitive information; it simply picks up on location.

Want to know more? Here’s the knitty gritty.

Beacon works by sending a code that is unique to your business address. That way, Google knows it’s your brand specifically. This information takes a one-way path so there’s no need to worry about compromised data.

Customer’s location services must be turned on in order for this to work. However, information is anonymous and not tied to a certain individual.

Shoppers are then asked to leave reviews, star ratings, answers to FAQs, photos, etc.

Why Google’s Beacon Program Works

By understanding when customers shop and by focusing on specific locations, Google can better service both brands and their shoppers. Location and data points can become more and more accurate. Shoppers can learn when customers arrive most often and how long they stay, therefore showing a better understanding of a business as a whole. Not to mention specific reviews at a higher volume.

All through following phone information, which, let’s face it, is probably being done anyway.

Beacon simply has a specific purpose in mind: to help everyone involved.

Additional Perks to Location Tracking Services

Beacon will help customers remember where you’re at and how often they visited. By storing in their previous locations, they can easily find you the next time around. Beacon is also out to collect and provide photos and customer reviews, giving future shoppers the information they’re after, and making the online feedback you want. (All without additional fees.)

All of this information is available through a business location page.

Besides, Google isn’t done expanding; more features are coming and will soon be available.

Should You Consider Using This Google Feature?

There are many perks that can come from using Beacon. If you haven’t already been contacted to sign up for the service, you can do so with this form. Remember that this is one more way to help improve your location and customer shopping experience.

Contact Google to learn more, or ask Stand And Stretch how it can help your online strategy.

Photo: Google Developers Blog

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