Beacons: Frequently Asked Questions

What does a beacon look like?

A beacon is a microchip and tiny aerial attached to a power source, usually a small battery like the ones used in watches.  It’s then protected by an outer case that usually is no bigger than a matchbox. There are many types of beacons, they come in many different shapes and sizes. Beacons are also known as iBeacons or BLE beacons. In fact their full title is Bluetooth Low Energy beacons. Range of ibeacons.

What do beacons do?

All a beacon actually does is broadcast its ID which will be unique to that beacon in that location.  The beacon will broadcast its ID for up to 70 metres.  Your app will carry a list of the ID numbers of all the beacons that you have activated and it will associate them with your location.

How much do they cost?

A single beacon cost $30/£20/€22. However, costs can vary based on the beacon that you choose, whether you would like to add your logo and branding to it, or customise the case of the beacon.

How long will the battery last?

Depending on the manufacturer of the beacon, you’ll either have to replace the whole beacon (as with Estimote beacons) or just the battery (as with Kontakt beacons).  It’s normally between 18 months and two years.

Can I move them around?

Yes, you can change the messages associated with each beacon and move them all around your location.  This is particularly great if you are running a promotion or a seasonal campaign and you want to draw traffic to a specific area on your location.

Do I need to have an app?

In a word, yes. The technology can be added to your existing app or you could use the technology to justify doing your first app. If you don’t already have an app or you have an app but you need a developer who understands the technology, our sister company We Are Apps can help you with that.

Does the app need to be open?

The app does not have to be open in order to receive the message.  In fact, even if the app has not been used for a while, it can wake up the phone and send a lock screen alert.

What is proximity marketing?

Proximity marketing lets you communicate with consumers when they are in proximity to your store. Using their smartphone you can deliver incentives and other engaging content to either pull them towards your store or guide them to specific products and experiences when they are in your location.

I've heard that the technology it too new to work very well, is that true?

The technology is new, however the specific installation of the proximity marketing solution varies depending on your developers area of expertise.

We have a staff of engineers with inquisitive minds, they research all of the possible scenarios and build the app based on the results, we also go to your location in order to inspect your environment which we take into account when your solution is created.

We say if your current installation is not producing the results you would expect, contact one of our proximity marketing experts who can listen to your concerns and make some recommendations.