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With Apple, it is always about taking a user’s experience one step ahead. Another one in the line to enhance the relationship between businesses and customers is iBeacon. The concept loosely resembles that of NFC. But iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy and can function over a 50- meter range. This is a fairly more beneficial method as opposed to using NFC which would be functional hardly over 0.2m. This is what makes such an option more economical as well. iBeacon technology might sound cool and appear like the future of the retail industry but it is already here. It has been a fast growing concept that has been widely recognized.

What exactly does iBeacon do?
This is a technology where a transmitter and receiver are paired to connect automatically and make the shopping experience so much better for the customer. What happens here is- the business has a transmitting device installed at its store. Once a customer with an Android or iOS device steps in the range of the transmitter, the customer would automatically be notified of the presence of the store and would also receive product recommendations and customized promotional offers.

For a more personalized shopping experience:
The retail industry is now focusing so much on delivering each user a rich shopping experience. After all who would not like to shop with a personal shopper who keeps giving the most relevant recommendations and notifies the customer of all running discounts! This is precisely what iBeacon apps can do. These can thus act as virtual shopping assistants.

Benefits for the businesses:
Gathering customer information and tracking customer behavior is essential to improving and delivering the best customer experience each time. Both these are made simple with iBeacon apps. The apps would help understand the shopping pattern of the user. This would help craft personalized recommendations which the customer might like. When it comes to online shopping monitoring the user’s activities and avoiding cart abandonment might be relatively simpler as with physical stores. This is where iBeacon apps come in. The transmitters can cover a range of 50m and can track all required information like the aisle that the customer spends the most time in, the products being checked, the total time spent in the store and more. Using all these data, the iBeacon app can then recommend products and promote sales as well as help in cross-selling. This would also help notify users of promotions and deals through push notifications so that no deal is missed out.

Several retailers offer the user's loyalty points, discounts and other benefits for stopping by their store, spending a given amount of time and these promotions and points could all be redeemed against their future purchases. These turn out to create win-win situations for the customers and the businesses.

Tracking user location to offer location based recommendations have been found useful in retail industry. But the GPS alone would not be sufficient to track. This is mainly because of the lack of precision of the location information provided by GPS especially inside a large building like shopping malls. This is when iBeacon transmitter devices help. So businesses could easily gather the user’s location and thus provide timely notifications to let the user know of the closest available store.

Not just for the retail industry:
We predominantly talk about how iBeacon apps help the retail industry in expanding their customer base. But this is not the only industry that has tapped the potential of this technology. Food chains and restaurants, hotels and even some airports have made use of the iBeacon apps. Miami International Airport is one of the first to use this technology to the fullest. This airport has numerous iBeacon transmitters installed. This makes it easy for the passengers to receive all relevant information in the airport. The details like the routes to important zones in the airport, boarding pass distribution information, details of the boarding gate are all displayed
automatically.

When it comes to marketing, adapting to the market trends and providing the most relevant promotions is what counts as value adding marketing. This is achieved only when the businesses have all the relevant user information. This is made easier with the help of iBeacon apps. This is how it helps businesses make the customers’ shopping experience better and thus simultaneously expand the businesses’ customer base.