October 16, 2014
This Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based technology is really creating a marketing revolution. It is being used by businesses to send ads, offers and alerts to customers in a contextual manner, all in real time. Moreover it helps understand where the customer might be in the vicinity. It is not just retailers who are adopting the technology. Other industry players are looking at more ways to leverage this proximity technology. Here are some recent highlights of the technology from our quick review of recent happenings in the industry:
Bookatable to expand iBeacons to 119 restaurants
Bookatable is an online booking platform based in Europe. It will soon roll out a system of iBeacon devices across its partner restaurants as part of the London Restaurant Festival. The new service would require customers to have the Bookatable iOS app installed. During the festival, the technology would help deliver special festival offers as proximity messages to customers.
Post the festival, with a wider installed base of beacons, Bookatable would broadcast more customized messages to attract customers to its partner restaurants. Some of the partner restaurants include D&D group, Ping Pong, Spaghetti House OXO Tower, STK London, Villandry and many more. Bookatable’s iBeacons are unbranded and are the size of a half-dollar coin. This makes their installation quite feasible. Moreover, these devices cover a range of 50 meters.
Shopkick has installed 7,500 iBeacon devices
Shopkick has achieved this large installed base across its retail partners in the U.S. Shopkick, which was recently acquired by SK Planet for $200 million, plans to setup the largest beacon based network for retailers in U.S. The company is gaining more revenues by installing branded versions of the iBeacon devices dubbed as shopBeacons.
Shopkick has cited that their services have generated $1 billion in transactions. This is attributed to 50 million verified store check-ins, 100 million product scans and millions of transactions. Shopkick’s retail partners include big brands like American Eagle, Target, Best Buy, Old Navy and many more. The live shopBeacons have been placed across 3,000 stores to send promotional messages to customers. Shopkick also claims that its network of beacon devices is 20 times larger than the next competitor.
Miami International Airport has beacons across all stakeholders
The airport is the first of its kind to have an open and complete deployment of beacons. It is the very first airport to have fully utilized the power of iBeacon devices. Beacons have been installed across multiple areas like entrances, check-in counters, gates, baggage claim carousels and even parking spaces. This has been made possible via the SITA Common-Use Beacon Registry.
Travelers can now receive precise information on delayed flights, flight arrivals, boarding times and more depending on where they are inside the airport terminals. Passengers would get real time highly relevant updates in the beaconized' areas. For example, after checking their luggage, passengers will receive a terminal map on their phone, guiding them where the boarding gate is.
The airport’s vast investments
Macy’s to deploy 4,000 iBeacons across 786 locations
Macy’s has been testing the iBeacon technology for over a year. It even made a semi-public rollout last year in San Francisco and New York. The popular retailer is now ready to roll out the technology on a much larger scale. Macy’s is working with Shopkick for the deployment of iBeacon devices. Customers will have to use the Shopkick app in order to receive notifications from the store.
Macy’s has made this investment in order to attract more millennial-generation shoppers. In the initial phase of the deployment, customers would receive deals, promotions and discounts. Further deployment stages would allow Macy’s to send messages precisely tailored by departments. This would clearly enhance further consumer engagement and promotional and marketing