At first glance, the results of our survey and research make sober reading. Especially for beacon manufacturers. The funnel carves out about 85% of your app users, leaving just over 15% of your app users that you can potentially engage with via BLE. When BLE is not considered, and geofences are used instead, the numbers look much better – just over half of your app users can be engaged via location services, which is more encouraging.
But on reflection, when we consider the survey results, respondents indicated that 80% were prepared to switch location services on – provided there is a benefit and their privacy concerns have been addressed.
So what can be done about this to improve the uptake and will this work? Well, in two recent apps that we location enabled for our customers, a lot of focus was put into getting a large uptake of location services – and particular BLE. This was done by implementing the following:
- Providing a well-designed coaching screen that emphasises the benefits of turning location services and BLE on during app install.
- Clearly stating what location information is used and when– just before the location permission pop up is triggered by the OS.
- Providing an app banner at the top of the app when it is in the foreground and location services or BLE are off. For example,
- Sending a push message to customers in a geofence to remind them to switch BLE on when they go into the venue (need to be careful with this, as this can easily perceived as spam)
- Marketing and communications near the locations that highlight the benefits of the app, with a focus on saving time or money. This is ideally a combination of physical, online and mobile branding, with enthusiastic staff encouraging the use of the app
- Last but not least, demonstrating value to customers. This is not serving them an ad for a cross-sell, but more about saving them money and time.
This is not an exhaustive list and we are sure there are more ways to achieve this. However, when we specifically look at an app where steps 1 to 6 were well executed, the results look like much more promising:
This shows that some simple tricks can cause a substantial uplift of users that are prepared to use location services and Bluetooth.
When compared to the overall average, the number of users that have authorised the app for location services increases from 51.7% to 83.5%. The bigger increase seems to come from users switching their BLE on – from 27.8 to 74%. The likely reason for this is that it is relatively easy to switch on BLE on devices (slide up/down and tap).
Overall, it looks like that the effect of the funnel can be beaten, but 100% coverage – or even in the 90s will be unlikely at this stage. There just needs to be a clear benefit for customers and not too much creepiness about what information is collected and for what purpose. And all of this needs to be well communicated.
Think you can do all three? Then location services and beacons look like a winning combination. Think you can’t? Well, then you may just want to reconsider resetting expectations about the usefulness of beacons.
Or just revert to geofences in addition. At least this will give you about 50% coverage with the least amount of effort…
The author of this blog is Martijn Verbree, Director of Europe at Localz.