How IoT is transforming the cold drinks industry

Putting data and proximity marketing to use, to increase sales.

Internet of Things technology is making physical objects smart, connected, and more effective. They can collect, measure and action data, sometimes resulting in direct interaction with consumers. Let’s take a look at how such technology can be applied to refrigeration equipment in the cold drinks industry.

By adding sensors to a cooler, you are provided with data to understand how it is performing commercially, and functioning technically. But IoT technology also opens up new marketing opportunities.

Enter the world of proximity marketing – localized, wireless distribution of promotions, marketing campaigns and advertising – allowing companies to connect with customers and deliver a personalized experience of your brand. Your smart coolers can now engage directly with customers passing by the fridge via their smart phones, tablets and smart watches.

This is all made possible by beacons and beacon functionality within controller chipsets, that send signals to attract attention to a specific location, in this case your cooler.

Adding beacon functionality to a cooler allows you to communicate with the consumer at point-of-sale. The cooler can gather data about a person standing in front of it, and deliver personalized messages to that person directly on their own smart device. A smart cooler should also be able to schedule, activate and report on the interaction with consumers. This opens up a whole new dimension of consumer engagement: converting footfall around your cooler into increased branding and sales opportunities.

And what can these marketing messages be about? Anything from special deals to a reference to the weather; “Hey, it’s going to be 30C today – maybe a good idea to grab a cold drink? I’m right behind you!” But the communication is not limited to text and images – looking forward your coolers can also be turned into interactive and personalized augmented reality games, cameras, and video players.

All of a sudden you are getting the same metrics for a physical world campaign as you would from a digital campaign, making them easier to plan and evaluate.

What about the consumer, and their habitual uses of their smart phone- now, and in the future? To be able to have you cooler connect with the people around it, they need to be open to receiving direct communication from you.

2016 report from Mindshare shows that 62 percent of consumers today are happy to share their data as long as they receive something of value in return.

Data can be attained if a person is already signed up through a participating app or social network, and the service allows you to send targeted messages and promotions.

Beacons have been named among the most important new mobile technologies in helping real-world companies deliver an interactive digital experience to their customers. Proxbook published a report for Q4 2015, indicating that 5.103.500 proximity sensors were deployed globally at the end of 2015. It is estimated that 400 million beacon sensors will be deployed by 2020.

According to data shared during a Boston Retail Partners’ session, 70 percent of companies plan to add beacons over the next five years.

Beacons are becoming a crucial part of bringing a digital experience to the offline world, to drive customer engagement through multiple channels. Making your cooler smart and taking advantage of the growing field of proximity marketing will help increase your cold drink sales and maximise the investment in the cooler itself.

Nexo’s range of controllers features beacon technology to enable proximity marketing, as well as commercial and operational metrics to ensure each cooler sells its optimal number of drinks, at the right temperature. We can advise on the best type of solution for your cooler fleet, that will help you to meet your business goals. Email to find out more.