iBeacon is a technology developed by Apple to be used in their retail stores, but we have started to see how it can be applied to other things. This includes being used in games and also in scavenger hunts, and also in supermarkets, and it seems that whatever the appeal is, it is definitely catching on as Shopkick has announced that they will be starting an iBeacon trial at 100 American Eagle stores in the US, following the announcement that InMarket would be doing something similar by deploying iBeacon technology to over 200 Safeway and Giant Eagle grocery stores.
According to Shopkick’s description of how they planned their iBeacon integration, “As shoppers enter an American Eagle Outfitters store, shopBeacon will welcome and show them location-specific rewards, deals, discounts and product recommendations – without them even having to remember to open the app. It can also tie at-home browsing behavior to in-store benefits; if the customer “likes” a specific product online, if they so choose, shopBeacon can remind them where in the American Eagle Outfitters store that product is sold.”
Shopkick is also planning on using iBeacon to help with promotions in the future, like department specific promotions, so walking in to the jeans department might notify you that there might be some kind of sale going on right now. From a retailer’s point of view we can definitely understand the appeal, but whether or not customers will bother downloading the app for every store they walk into remains to be seen.