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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

Pallet 'beacons' allow targeted in-store promotions

Launch follows success in Germany where tech from Chep has allowed manufacturers to reach more customers and convert vouchers into sales

Pallet 'beacons' allow targeted in-store promotions

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Supply chain specialist Chep is introducing small Bluetooth sensors to its quarter pallets in UK retailers so that personalised promotional messages can be sent to consumers’ phones as they shop.

The technology, which has so far been used for non-perishable products but could one day be used for fresh produce, has already enjoyed success in Germany, allowing manufacturers to reach more new customers and convert more promotional vouchers to sales.

A small Bluetooth sensor, known as a beacon, is paired with the goods stacked on the pallets, which are used as promotional displays by manufacturers and retailers.

This allows companies to send personalised promotional messages, digital vouchers and other offers direct to customers’ phones when they come near the display.

Customers can then redeem the vouchers or offers at the checkout.

Helen Lane, vice president for Northern Europe at Chep, said: “In the age of shop-and-go and mission-based shopping, grabbing consumers’ attention is harder than ever. 

“Our technology helps retailers and manufacturers sell to shoppers when they’re most ready to buy. It’s like having a sales assistant in every aisle pushing the promotion but in an extremely targeted way.

“The development of the technology is part of our strategy to redefine the supply chain from supplier to shopper by focusing on the last mile and getting products into the shoppers’ carrier bags.

“Not only does it help to increase sales and return on investment from promotions, it also provides invaluable insights on how shoppers respond to promotions, allowing future ones to be adapted accordingly. 

“In addition, suppliers and manufacturers can use the solution to verify their promotions are in place in stores around the country without the need for expensive teams of people having to do in-store manual checks.”

In Germany, where there are some 18 million product promotions a year, Chep has already successfully introduced its beacon pallet display technology. 

Confectionary multinational Mondelez, which makes Milka and Oreo, has seen coupon activation increase by 39 per cent and new customer numbers rise by 183 per cent following a trial of the smart promotion displays. 

Meanwhile, international seasonings brand Maggi ran a promotional campaign using the technology over a five-week period across nine German hypermarkets. According to Chep, the campaign engaged almost 180,000 shoppers, generated €80,000 and attracted 24,000 new customers.

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