Apple introduced iBeacon technology to its retail stores as a means to help shoppers find what they want and direct them around an otherwise rather busy store. This technology was also introduced at CES 2014 as part of a scavenger hunt, and now it looks like Apple’s iBeacon technology is starting to gain a fair amount of traction as dozens of grocery stores around the US have started to roll out iBeach technology within their stores as well, alerting customers to location-specific information, such as coupons, whilst they shop.
The participating grocery stores include Giant Eagle and Safeway stores in Cleveland, Ohio, Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, California. This implementation was done by advertiser InMarket and will require the user to have InMarket’s loyalty app for the iPhone called Checkpoints. Whenever the user is within range of an iBeacon transmitter, the app will then notify the user of any potential discounts or coupons that could be used with a particular product. The company is planning on rolling out more iBeacons to over 100 Safeway and Giant Eagle stores in the coming weeks, and maybe even thousands by the end of the year.
According to the company’s CEO, Todd Dipaloa, “NFC requires users to literally take their phone out, turn it on, and tap it against a target to activate. iBeacons can reach a user with their phone in their pocket anywhere in a store. This allows shoppers to physically browse the store as normal and take advantages of new features like a shopping list reminder when they enter. Mobile to Mortar will be compatible with all BLE devices including Android.”
As it stands the functionality will be limited to when the shopper enters the stores, although the company is planning on experimenting with in-aisle implementations as well.