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example would be a Grocery store placing beacons in their beverage aisles to promote specific brands. This brings a potential revenue benefit, with brands bidding for exclusive right’s to advertise via those beacons. Will people actually use these beacons? Getting consumers on board is a major obstacle. In order for the retailer to use beacons to reach consumers, the consumers have to first download the store’s specific app. Then remember to open it when they’re in store. In addition they have to and turn on their Bluetooth signal. That’s a lot of steps just to be able to have a store serve you a push note about a sale on tee shirts or similar! Even so a Business Insider report projected that beacons will directly influence $4 billion in sales at top retailers in 2015. That number is expected to increase tenfold to about $44 billion in 2016.

What’s the difference between a beacon and an iBeacon? iBeacon is Apple’s attempt to standardise how beacons work with their products; it’s a description of how the messages that beacons send out need to look in order to work with Apple products and not actually the devices themselves, although people will call them that. The important thing is that whether something is referred to as an iBeacon or a beacon, it works the same way and all types of devices can work with them. You don’t need to install two types of beacon to work with two types of smartphone. iBeacon is technically a packet layout for beacon transmissions that’s owned by Apple. There are other packet formats, notably Eddystone developed by Google.

Are any big companies already using beacons? Yes! Apple in their Apple Stores, in America Macy’s in a nationwide roll-out of more than 4000 beacons, Virgin Atlantic in airports and even Major League Baseball have all completed successful pilots and deployed live beacon projects to their customers. In the UK Tesco integrating the trial with its MyStore app. Waitrose started a similar test at its concept store in Swindon. Then Asda and John Lewis launched trials into 2015. An alternative approach, Bluetooth LE and LED Lighting In France, supermarket giant Carrefour has invested in an alternative approach. While beacons use Bluetooth LE to determine the distance of a shopper, Philips has developed an LED lighting system that transmits promotional codes to smartphones via light waves. The Carrefour trial in a Lille store uses this Philips system and functions in a similar way to GPS-based maps. Each LED transmits a distinct location code, which can be picked up by a shopper with a compatible app using their smartphone

camera. From this, special offers and location data are sent to the shopper, enabling them to search and locate their preferred promotions or discover promotions and products around them. Contextually integrated This technology has the ability to deliver real value to both consumer and retailer. The opportunity to deliver personalized experience and dynamic value is there and with that shoppers will gradually adopt this new technology because it will be contextually integrated into their buying habits enriching their retail experience, delivering convenience and value. Many thanks to Marek Narkiewicz of GWDevices for the assistance with this article . GWDevices connect brands with people. They draw on their experience of connected device projects for huge international organisations to help deliver a true omni channel strategy. They provide inspiring ideas and solutions to ensure different channels complement rather than compete with each other. t: +44 (0)114 279 9089 e: marek@gwdmedia.com w: http://gwdevices.com

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Infinity April 2016  

The latest edition of ‘Infinity’ our specialist digital and ecommerce and all aspects of digital commerce. Infinity is designed for both mul...

Infinity April 2016  

The latest edition of ‘Infinity’ our specialist digital and ecommerce and all aspects of digital commerce. Infinity is designed for both mul...

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