How Retail Leverages iBeacon Technology

Silvia Pichler, 
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Look up from your smartphone and take some time to observe your environment. You will notice that most of the people around you are glued to their mobile phone too. Whether at home, eateries, the gym, or even at the beach, people carry their smartphone everywhere at all times. Why is that?

 

Social Media, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and the convenience of getting all sorts of tasks done on the phone with just a few taps, made us develop an urge to be online and available 24/7.

 

It is due to this trend that companies from all kinds of industries have decided to create their own app to promote their brand, minimize the gap between them and their customers and enhance their availability.

 

But how is this connected to iBeacons? Let’s take a look.

 

iBeacons and Apps

iBeacon technology is a very common and popular method to enable location-based services in the Indoor Positioning and Navigation world.

 

Beacons send out radio signals,  which are received by the smartphones, allowing accurate real-time positioning on a digital map inside a mobile app. This Positioning technology allows for a lot of different use cases in various industries and is used to enhance user convenience and satisfaction as well as business operations and ROI.

 

Perfect Planning

Planning and continuously optimizing operations is critical to all businesses. Indoor Positioning and Analytics can help put the finger on which areas can be improved through valuable user insights such as motion patterns, footflow traffic and other behavioral data.

 

Especially in the retail industry, analytical data can support management in making important decisions on store layout, product placements inside the store and planning campaigns. Managers can also determine how many times each customer frequented their store and gather important information on their target audience to optimize marketing campaigns.

 

Shopping mall management is able to determine optimized renting schemes based on the general foottraffic inside the mall. Which are the most frequented locations and what does the optimal store arrangement look like?

 

Navigating the unknown with iBeacons in Retail

As competition between malls is fierce and all of them want to have the highest number of the most popular stores and most fashionable restaurants, they are usually also extremely spacious.

 

This also means that visitors may have some trouble finding their way around the mall or to specific stores. Mall management should therefore seek to provide adequate and easy-to-use navigation assistance.

 

More and more shopping malls have started getting their own mobile app to increase customer engagement and convenience while retrieving valuable analytical data in return. Customers can also save time by planning their shopping route already beforehand to avoid wandering around aimlessly or forgetting which stores they need to visit.

iBeacons in retail kiosk

All popular shopping malls nowadays provide orientation assistance via interactive touchscreen kiosks. Real-time navigation via mobile app is advancing and provides even more convenience.

 

When friends or family go shopping, everyone may at some point go their own way and meet up later again. Location sharing via mobile app can help finding each other inside the huge mall.

 

Another way to optimize the customer journey includes a feature to locate your car when you’re all done and tired and have difficulty remembering where you parked.

 

Improving Facility Management and Security

Managers are not only able to add routes to their facilities but are able to use the technology to their advantage for facility management. In case any amenities inside the mall are malfunctioning or broken, e.g. ATMs or lighting fixtures etc., everyone using the app including management, staff, but also visitors, can report the problem in the app and mark the location. Management can then appoint someone to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

 

When it comes to security management, iBeacon based Indoor Positioning comes in handy. It provides information on the traffic in the mall and allows security staff to monitor motion behavior of each visitor and detect or prevent threats before they happen.

 

The technology provides information on the movement of the visitors, enabling owners to put in place the right security measures including providing evacuation assistance where necessary.

 

In case of an incident, management can assign the closest available security guard to the task of resolving the problem. Via location sharing, other guards can be called to join and navigate directly to the right spot.

 

Indoor Positioning and iBeacons sound just like what you’re looking for? Contact us now!

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