To ease the typical in-store stress experienced by its customers, Apple Inc has rolled out a new location-based technology in its retail shops. The device manufacturer’s iBeacon trackers are set to push notifications about the company’s events, products, and many other helpful information directly to shoppers’ gadgets as they shop.
iBeacon is now available in all 254 locations of Apple Stores across the US. iBeacon software was already included in the recent iOS 7 update. The technology has since been put up and installed in Apple stores from the entrance to specific product tables.
This integration marks the company’s large-scale entry into hot and emerging place- or location-based marketing. Notably, Apple would not be the pioneer in this endeavor. Over the past year, several small startups have already offered services to gather data about shoppers within stores. The idea is to help customers find the deals they need.
The technology is also aimed at helping brick and mortar retail stores to compete against popular e-commerce shops. Online stores are known for having sufficient insights about users’ online or digital shopping behavior.
iBeacon would serve anyone who has Apple Store app on his iOS device. It requires Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections along with enabled notifications to be functional. The technology uses Bluetooth low energy signal to enable compatible iOS devices to detect transmitters that are set up within each Apple store.
The technology works by suggesting to customers possible phone upgrade as they pass through tables with handsets and gadgets. It would provide information about upcoming store events. Apple stores could also post notifications about special deals and promotions that they are rolling out to entice customers to shop.
The most impressive feature is the ability to provide customers with additional data about specific products as they pass or walk past them. Thus, if shoppers stand near the newest iPhone models, a notification would pop up on their iPhones or iPads to inform them if they are already eligible for upgrade.
The idea is great but still, some people are hesitant about the technology. It is because several customers find it creepy to be tracked while inside physical stores. However, Apple assures that it would not store personal information of customers through iBeacon. The company reiterated that the technology would only work one way, from hardware to devices, making it impossible for the system to extract information from customers’ gadgets.