Less than two years have passed since Apple first launched iBeacons in 254 stores across the country. In the past two years, retailers have used iBeacons to find out who is shopping at their stores and to reach out to those customers with real-time information on purchases. Available for Apple devices iOS 7 and above, iBeacon uses a Bluetooth connection. Here are a few ways that iBeacons are revolutionizing retail.
1. Bringing Local Storefronts Online
In an age where online purchases often overtake in-store sales, iBeacons allow brick-and-mortar stores to come online and take their place in the clouds. That means greater online presence and greater sales.
2. Instant Market Research
By making careful use of data collected through iBeacon, it is possible for businesses to know here and now how many people, and what kinds of people, are frequenting their shop. Of course, like any other kind of market research, this data requires careful analysis.
3. Connect With Customers Now
On a fun note, did you know the Italian Zoo has recently developed an iBeacon enabled app which allows users to receive moment-by-moment information on the animals closest to them? While iBeacon does not support push notifications directly, retailers are using data collected from it to fuel mobile apps and connect with customers, or prospective customers, in real time.
4. Attendee Tracking
As part of running your business, you doubtlessly attend the occasional business conference. iBeacon gives conference organizers an interesting way to get minute-by-minute data on large groups of people, so they know what topics draw the most attendees and where attendees are going. This data, in turn, will continue to shape the face of retail.
5. A New, Competitive Market
iBeacons and other location services are a reality in today's world, and as with any other new development, competition is stiff. Companies benefit from this data and other companies benefit from being the ones to provide it. It will be interesting to see how this market develops in the next few years.
Are you utilizing iBeacons in your business? Do you have any fun stories to share? Let us know in the comments.
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Mike is the Co-Founder and CEO at Fract. With over 20 years of retail and business location analytics experience behind his belt, Mike counsels business owners and helps them get the most out of their business and sales data. He is also a passionate art lover and enjoys a glass (or two) of good wine with friends and family on the weekends.