Apple has launched its Bluetooth-based iBeacon technology in all of its 254 stores across the US, an initiative that targets shoppers with personalised marketing, as well as using its own stores as a demo lab for potential customers among US retailers.
The company introduced support for the iBeacons programme in its recent iOS7 upgrade. iPhone users wanting to access the service have to install the Apple Store app and agree to receive notifications based on their location.
The kind of applications envisaged for iBeacon include in-store notification for a shopper making a collection. If the user then shows an Apple employee their order confirmation on their iPhone screen they can pick up the product.
Or iBeacon might send a message to a shopper that prompts them to read product reviews and make a small purchase via Apple’s Easy Pay app.
Apple is not the only company with an interest in this kind of proximity marketing. Various other vendors are also looking to work with retailers. One high-profile player is PayPal, whose initiative has the curiously similar name of Beacon. All these companies are interested in signing up leading retailers to this initiative which they hope will engender more loyalty and business from shoppers.