A $10 device is attracting a great deal of attention.
Currently designed and engineered in various shapes and sizes by hundreds of suppliers (even startups) and tech companies and that are based on Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Smart, iBeacons are being used at 10 national retailers.
In this article I will try to analyze 10 companies who have implemented the beacons technology in their companies:-
1. American Eagle Outfitter - The merchant worked with Shopkick to deploy its shopBeacon technology across the 100 American Eagle Outfitter locations. Shopkick deployed the first Beacon/BLE-based presence signal at AEO on November 20, 2013. When the device with a Shopkick application installed comes within range, the signal effectively “wakes up” the application and passes along a unique identifier. The application can decode this identifier and complete a corresponding action — for example, adding loyalty points to the person’s account— without the user ever having to pull the phone out of his or her pocket.
2. Giant Eagle - Giant Eagle has been an early adopter as well, and employed the beacons technology which (BLE devices) is placed at the entrance of their stores. Beacons bounce low-range signals continually off sensors. The app on a person’s smartphone can then pinpoint the person’s exact location within a few feet. So, if a customer is in the cereal aisle debating which brand to buy, advertisements could then be sent directly to their smartphone to help sway the decision.
3. Universal Music - Powa Technologies has implemented the Powa tag Beacon technology at 240 merchant locations which include major players like Universal Music & Carrefour. Customers can now receive messages like special offers, as they approach any Universal Music store with Powa beacon enabled location. Moreover, Universal stores will know a participating customer’s shopping habits and personal preferences as soon as they walk through the door. Retailers gain unparalleled detail about the purchase including physical location and powerful analytics toolkits.
4. Gilbarco Veeder Root - Gilbarco Veeder-Root, the world’s largest manufacturer of gas pumps, has deployed the Qualcomm beacon technology, allowing them to offer various payment options. Whenever the customer approaches the Gilbarco store, he or she will receive current Gilbarco offers. It also helps Gilbarco to track customer’s information through loyalty programs.
5. Apple Stores - AApple has deployed its beacon technology across all 254 stores in the U.S. allowing the customer to choose and receive notifications when near the store. This notification includes new promotional schemes and loyalty offers. Currently the technology works on the latest Apple software and hardware. Apple is testing a feature that would notify a customer when their device is ready for pickup.
6. Macy Stores - Macy’s has implemented the BLE beacons Shopkeep. that advises customers on product availability, promotions and rewards. ShopBeacon requires a minimum investment in their hardware; however, installation is simple. Macy’s is using the shopBeacons technology to amplify the shopping experience of customers when they visit their stores. This beacon technology will help them immensely in tracking the likes and dislikes of a customer.
7. Rubens House Museum - The iBeacons technology at Rubens House Museum. helps customers locate specific pieces/areas of the art collection. It also sends timely notifications to the customers like fun facts and beautiful graphics. Visitors can now find out the story behind different paintings through an interactive quiz or search the location of art works. This beacon technology will help users in discovering the painted-over drawings that hide beneath the work of art. The technology also works for smartphones and tablets with Android 4.3.
8. CES -The consumer electronics association partnered with Radius Network and Texas Instruments to implement the Beacons hunt. Attendees at the 2014 CES who downloaded the CES Mobile App on iOS or Android devices were encouraged to explore all the areas of the show through a scavenger hunt and collect badges for each iBeacon they encountered. The winners were the first ones to collect all the badges.
9. Exact Editions - Exact Editions, a location-based start-up and provider of magazine applications, has deployed the Bluetooth Beacons technology that allows them to promote their magazine apps by making them freely available at specific locations. iBeacons location-based technology helps the publishers sell magazine access to specific locations and venues.
10. PayPal Hands free in stores - PayPal, with its own beacons gear and app, is deploying beacons around the globe. PayPal users in a beacon zone can check in, learn about special offers, and pay for products and services. Watch this video to understand it better:
There are other retailers and more merchants that are embracing this retail technology, which also enables advertising, offers, loyalty and payments in a seamless experience. It is not restricted to only iOS devices and Android 4.3, and further updates should be able to tap into this growing eco-system as well.