Imagine you walk into a store, as you enter you are personally greeted by name, and the map of the store prioritises the location of products that you have previously looked at online. You then receive a text, suggesting an in-season tanned sweater on display to the right of where you’re stood – perfectly complimenting the pair of suede jeans you just grabbed from the rack…

Well soon this kind of Alphaville inspired shopping fantasy, could well become the norm for the average consumer. Apple iBeacon is increasingly popular and a relatively new technology, extending Location Services in iOS. iOS devices can alert apps when an iPhone’s programme administrator approaches or leaves a location with an iBeacon. In addition to monitoring location, an app can estimate your proximity to an iBeacon (e.g. a display or checkout counter in a retail store).

Here Poq investigates the viral buzz surrounding iBeacon technology, encompassing personalisation via Push Notifications to shoppers, with the inclusion of easy-to-use features that create optimised in-store convenience such as Product Scans-facilitating further product content, Store Finders, Click-to-Call, and the option to check stock levels directly from the app before going to the store…and addresses the following issues:

How can retailers make best use of Apples iBeacon?

“Many retailers are focused on using beacons to deliver offers to consumers,” said Robbie Allan, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Carnival Mobile, New York. Being mindful of this fact – it is important for retailers to note, that iBeacon triggered local push notifications are strictly opt-in for consumers. Thus there is a need for the retailer to communicate the value of the notifications to the consumer very well.

Factors to consider for retailers using Apple’s iBeacon

iBeacon software is powered through low-energy Bluetooth, which is embedded in Apple iPhones. This allows the phone to communicate with Bluetooth beacons situated locally in-store. Simon Robinson, Senior Director of Marketing and Alliances at marketing and cloud services company Responsys, says that while the marketing opportunities these beacons present are virtually exponential, it is important to remain mindful that “consumers don’t want to be bombarded with irrelevant updates every time they come close to a particular store.

Robinson says retailers need to consider three things: Transparency, execution and integration. “Retailers need to be 100% transparent about how personal data is being used to provide a better overall customer experience,” Robinson adds.

By deploying these tactics, brands can achieve high-performance results with their mobile app marketing campaigns that not only drive business objectives, but also acquire large volumes of loyal users.

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