Shopkick has decided to expand it’s trials of Apple’s iBeacon technology. The company, who recently launched its shopper-detecting technology in two Macy’s Department Stores, is partnering with American Eagle Outfitters to install shopBeacon in 100 U.S. locations.
Shopkick said once the pilot goes live next month it will be the largest trial of iBeacon technology in the country. iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy to detect the presence of iPhones and other smartphones as they enter and leave a beacon’s limited range. With the consumer’s permission, the beacons are then able to form proximity-based connections with those devices. Retailers use those ad hoc networks to share retail information and promotions, not just about the store the phone owner happens to be in, but often about the specific aisle or section he or she is browsing in.
Customers download the Shopkick app, and then give permission for the app to identify itself to any shopBeacons that may search for it. This then turns the customer’s phone into a personal shopping assistant of sorts, which knows where you’re at in the store, and also your shopping tastes, based on any information you may deem to share with the Shopkick app.
While American Eagle Outfitters stores are much smaller than a typical Macy’s location, the iBeacon technology can still be used to give the customer a personalized shopping experience.
Initially, shopBeacon will “greet” customers as they enter the store, and supply push alerts on in-store deals and discounts, as well as personalized product recommendations. However, Shopkick and American Eagle say they will soon begin offering more location-based info via the app.