Apple’s new product debuts are known to be ‘must-see TV’ for gadget geeks. We all get excited about the BIG announcements, such as the iPhone 5S or the iPad Air. But as is typical with Apple, there are smaller debuts tucked into these presentations that trigger very big waves in other, less consumer-focused industries. The most recent example of this is iBeacon.
iBeacon is Apple’s latest attempt to insert themselves into retail services (they continue to stop just short of a full payment solution, but they’re inching ever so close). Basically, iBeacon utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to connect consumers and their iPhones with main street (retailers) via small beacons placed throughout the merchant’s brick-and-mortar store. This technology enables the merchants to send push notifications with hyper-relevant messages based on where someone is located (down to the aisle), lure them into the store and promote certain products/services.
A customer is near the denim section? “All jeans are 10% off today!” is the type of message that may pop up on a phone. And it works: According to RetailMeNot, 51% of consumers admitted they would be more likely to buy an item, even one that isn’t from their preferred brand, if they received a mobile coupon while in-store.