[This article was originally written by Jeanne Roue-Taylor]
It’s official. Apple’s recently and quietly released new iBeacon tech has been deployed as ShopBeacon by shopkick. First a little about shopkick…it is an app that offers customers “kicks” that translate to points for performing the act of browsing for information on a retailer. The customer can redeem kicks for gift cards for allowing the merchant to target information directly into their hands.
With the new release of shopkick’s ShopBeacon device, a retailer can get very specific about geolocation when sending targeted ads. A shopper’s device signals when and where information is available with or without the customer having to monitor the app. It also ID’s the shopper and kicks off the process of assembling customer experience data.
This tech is currently on trial at a Macy’s NY location and is described by shopkick in this way:
ShopBeacon can welcome a shopper when she enters a store and show her location-specific deals, discounts, recommendations, and rewards, without her having to remember to open the app. It can also tie at-home browsing to in-store benefit—if she “likes” a specific product in the app, shopBeacon can remind her when she enters the store that sells it. It can also deliver department-specific offers throughout the store—so the boots she liked show up at the most useful time—in the Shoe department.
iBeacon taking off?
iBeacon’s BLE (Bluetooth Low Emission) technology is far more accurate than GPS and is ideal for use indoors. It’s only a matter of time before this is adapted to the workplace and anywhere else location-specific information needs to be collected or served up. It has more uses than serving, information, though – PayPal in September launched Beacon, which validates the presence of a PayPal customer and allows them to pay for merchandise simply by being present (even more easily than a swiping a card).
The security and compliance uses are just as numerous.
Real-time and location-aware
The combination of real-time and location-aware Internet of Things data make these uses of iBeacon very interesting early plays. To make this scale across large locations with many shoppers and many products and transactions will be the real challenge. Systems to make offers need to not only know who is present and where, but customers’ past transactions, fine-grained marketing segmentation information, loyalty status, pricing and available stock information. This is a big data problem that needs an integrated ecosystem.
Those that have the systems to assemble this information quickly with analytics to back it up will be well ahead of the pack in customer experience management.
Shopkick’s promotional video: