5 reasons you should be using iBeacons at your attraction

From delivering contextual messages to better understanding your guests — we look at the top reasons why you should be using beacons.
January 2016

The potential for using iBeacons within attractions is vast, whether you’re looking to increase sales, improve the visitor experience or understand what your guests do. They offer a whole new level of contextual interaction, but it can be hard to understand how they work and how to implement them in practice. The good news is that it can be much easier than you think, and there are compelling reasons to implement them right away!

So what exactly are iBeacons? Put simply, iBeacons are small devices that can be strategically placed around an attraction. As visitors walk past the beacons, their smartphones pick up the signal in the background and in turn perform actions such as sending them a notification. All that’s required is for the user to have a compatible phone (all of the latest devices are) and your attraction’s mobile app installed.Here are five reasons why you should be using iBeacons at your attraction:

1. Contextual offers

With iBeacons you can tap into the world of highly contextual, location-specific offers that are *extremely* effective! The Attractions.io platform lets you combine multiple criteria to build super-targeted messaging.Imagine wanting to send the following notification to your visitors’ smartphones: "Get a free hot drink with any snack from the snack shop!". Now imagine if this notification was only delivered to users if:

  • They were physically walking past the snack shop
  • The temperature was below 15°C
  • It was after 3 pm when the shop is quiet

Imagine no more! Our platform makes this not only possible but incredibly easy to do.

The Attractions.io iBeacon targeting interface.

2. Better experiences

iBeacons shouldn’t be seen as just a marketing tool and a way to bombard users with offers. After all, if misused, visitors will only disable notifications, or worse, uninstall your app completely. Rather, there are many ways that iBeacons can add real value to a visitors’ experiences at an attraction.Something simple yet effective is to place an iBeacon at the entrance(s) to your attraction. Then, when visitors first enter, you can greet them with a friendly and unexpected message: "Welcome to Fun Land, Mark! Here are some top tips to make the most out of your day!". This immediately gives a good impression and sets the visitor up for a positive experience.

Taking things a little further, how about using iBeacons to give your guests some inside knowledge? For example, what if a user were walking past a show that was going to start in 10 minutes’ time, but they didn’t realise? What if they then received a notification saying: "The stunt show is nearby and starting in 10 minutes’ time — would you like to go?". iBeacons make this possible, and it can be like having an attraction expert constantly in your pocket for visitors.It’s not just about messaging though. If you have a day planner, you can use iBeacons to automatically check off rides when users have been on them. If you have a scavenger hunt activity, iBeacons can be used to present clues. Or perhaps you have something of historical significance — iBeacons can be used to conveniently serve up further information on that too.

3. Increased repeat visits

Every attraction wants to increase repeat visits, and iBeacons can be used to increase them in a very simple yet effective way. Coupled with a tasty offer, the devices can be placed at the exit and used to sell visitors tickets for a return visit.

Say it costs £25 to visit your attraction. Now imagine if every guest leaving your attraction were asked if they wanted to return the following day for £10, or anytime this year for £15. Couple this with a very convenient and low-friction payment method (such as with a fingerprint via Apple Pay), and it’s a compelling proposition that can yield unrivalled results.

Composing a repeat visit alert in the Attractions.io control panel.

4. Visitor insight

Understanding what visitors are doing at your attraction is incredibly important, but also incredibly difficult to determine. With iBeacons being low cost and easy to maintain, you can install them at each ride, attraction, exhibit, food outlet, or anything else you can think of. Then, not only can you utilise them for such things as messaging, but you can also receive reports on how many people are visiting each area.

All of a sudden, it’s clear that 90% of people visit your most popular ride, but only 0.5% visit the coffee shop in the far corner of your attraction. You can also analyse these numbers over time to identify trends and use the data to monitor the results of marketing efforts. It’s incredibly powerful!

5. Feedback collection

Feedback is so important for any business, but for those in the leisure industry, it’s absolutely vital. Sure, you can send out surveys and place feedback kiosks around your attraction, but what about when you want targeted feedback, fast?

Imagine wanting feedback on a newly opened restaurant. With an iBeacon installed there, you can ask visitors who exit what they thought, instantly! You have the power to say: “Collect results from 1,000 visitors who dine at this restaurant”, and then sit back and watch the results roll in.

Whatever the situation, iBeacons can be used to help connect the real world with the digital one.At Attractions.io, we’ve worked on mobile apps for over six years and have built a comprehensive mobile messaging platform into our app offering that allows attraction operators to take advantage of all of the things outlined in this article.Whether you’re a theme park, zoo, aquarium, museum, FEC or other attraction, iBeacons, coupled with a mobile app for your visitors, can deliver real, measurable results. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch — we’d be delighted to have a chat.


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January 2016
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