Target has recently announced that it is implementing a pilot beacon program in 50 of its stores locations. These beacons will send timely deals and recommendations on nearby products and more to customers’ mobile whenever they browse within the range of the devices.
“We’re excited to start using beacon technology to offer real-time, relevant content and services that can help make shopping at Target easier and more fun,” said Jason Goldberger, President of Target.com and Target Mobile, in a press release. “This is another way Target is bridging mobile & stores and using digital to enhance the in-store shopping experience. We look forward to seeing how our guests respond to what we’ve built."
To use the service, customers first need to download or update to the latest version of the Target iPhone app (version 7.4 or higher) and enable Bluetooth in the phone’s settings.
When the user is located near one of the 50 test stores in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco or Seattle, the user will be prompted to “opt in” to share your location and receive push notifications. The system will push two notifications per shopping trip with the rest of the deals appearing in the app itself.
Target is working towards to add new features for its future release, including the ability to dynamically re-sort a user’s shopping list as he moves through the store. Based on the customer data, the company will improve the service.
Target’s service is similar to Facebook’s Place Tips. Facebook introduced Place Tips by which businesses can send contextual marketing messages to people in proximity to the store. These beacons use Bluetooth technology to send a signal to the Facebook app on a shopper’s phone which helps businesses run proximity marketing campaign.
Facebook’s Place Tip feature was initially tested with a small group of businesses in New York City including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dominique Ansel Bakery and the Strand Book Store. Last month, the company decided to roll out the Place Tips feature beyond the testing phase. The feature is now available to all businesses in the United States. Interested business owners who want to leverage Facebook’s Bluetooth beacon technology can request for free beacons. Facebook is aiming to make beacons available to thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across the US.
Many researchers believe digital technologies will influence a large portion of in-store retail sales worth 1.1 trillion dollars. Beacons are one of the major technologies in this equation.