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Beacon app signals greater interaction

Eastleigh mall uses Bluetooth tech to send offers to shoppers.

The Swan Centre in Eastleigh, Hampshire, has rolled out beacon technology to allow customers to receive discounts from retailers while shopping in the centre.

Beacons are low-energy, low-cost Bluetooth devices that transmit a location message to smartphones and are small enough to attach to a wall or display counter. For retailers, the implementation of this technology will allow them to send location-based content and advertising to customers who are near their store.

The Swan Centre has worked with Brighton tech start-up TagPoints to incorporate its TagBeacons platform into the shopping centre’s SmartRewards app. Retailers can then send messages to shoppers in the centre without them having to open the app or browse a website (as long as they have initially downloaded The Swan Centre app), although they do need to have Bluetooth turned on. The beacons have a maximum range of 50m.

As customers enter the centre they automatically receive a welcome message along with 10 points to their Swan Centre loyalty account. As more TagBeacons are installed throughout the centre, shoppers will receive more retailer-specific promotions. As well as being used to drive customers into stores, the TagBeacons will also allow retailers to accurately measure footfall.

Mark Robinson, investment director at Ellandi, owner of The Swan Centre, says of the beacon technology: “There’s a real buzz within the retail industry about the potential of location-based technology to help engage with and market services to the public.

It offers them the ability to connect with motivated customers and deliver filtered offers and discounts - based on location and proximity - directly to their mobile phones. Our merchants are now able to communicate directly with customers and positively influence their spending patterns.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • iBeacon has major opportunities for fashion retailers, but not in the obvious ways you might think. Because...:

    The negatives associated are that the tech is 'push' and can be irritating to the user if they are not well targeted. Imagine walking down the high street with your mobile pinging your attention every other shop you pass. There will need to be 'beacon' paths to handle the 'stop start' pedestrians!?

    Seriously though, these 'pushes' are also quite a drain on batteries, which I expect will influence users to turn off the service altogether.

    How do you think iBeacon could help you?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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