Apple puts the i in precision marketing.

iBeacon_image

While location-based marketing is not a new strategy, iBeacon is a new product from Apple that marketers are getting excited about, and with good reason. It’s a technology that extends location-based services presenting exciting new opportunities to engage with consumers on their path to purchase.

 For a quick snapshot of the iBeacon, click here

How it works

The iBeacon is a small and relatively low cost ‘Bluetooth low energy’ device that can literally be placed anywhere due to a self-contained power source. They use Bluetooth 4.0, a new format that has been built into many modern smartphones, with the majority of new devices entering the market already compatible.

Location targeted

IBeacon utilises Bluetooth technology (instead of GPS) to accurately determine your position, opening doors to highly relevant micro-location targeting.

With IBeacon located around the store, your marketing message can be sent to those customers who are within close proximity, informing them of content – be it offers or sales – with great precision.

Information during shopping

iBeacons provide the opportunity to communicate directly with shoppers not only at a store level but in an aisle or even at a particular product as they have the ability to approximate when a user has entered, exited, or lingered in a particular region.

With personalised messages being pushed to customers in proximate areas, it is easier to provide information about various products and specials. This gives the customer the power to make informed and quick decisions.

Instant purchase

iBeacon technology can also be used to purchase products directly from your device. This saves time, resource and allows more transactions for the business.

The iconic US store Macy’s is the first major retailer to introduce iBeacons in stores. Customers who use the app ‘Shopkick’ receive a notification when they walk in-store directing them to Shopkick’s app, which can alert them to deals and remind them of products they were interested in that are on sale at the store.

The trial has its limitations, however it won’t be long until they’ll target shoppers on a department-by-department basis, telling them about the Converse sale when they’re in the shoe section, or recommending nearby products they have been recognised to have an interest in.

While there may be a risk of over exposing customers to real-time content, this kind of precision marketing could be extremely powerful. There are endless possibilities in the way that marketers could utilise iBeacons, and we’ll be working hard to identify just how they can be used to for relevant, timely and effective communications.

Author: Gabrielle Gillard, Account Manager