Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay Company Deploy iBeacons in Stores

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Department stores Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay Company began rolling out iBeacons in a number of locations as of Monday. These iBeacons are implemented by Swirl, a company which develops mobile marketing solutions.

With the system, shoppers will be given custom offers or additional information about products, which is sent to mobile devices iPhones as they move through different areas of the store.

A bonus of the Swirl platform is that it also has safeguards against overload, keeping shoppers from suffering spam and opting out of the experience altogether.

Currently this only works on iOS devices, there is no iBeacon compatibility with other mobile platforms at this time.

[Via Mashable]

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On one hand, this sounds really cool. On the other, it sounds really irritating to have my phone go off while I walk through a store, giving me advertisements for the place where I am already shopping. the key to longterm success of these platforms will hinge on the value they bring to shoppers.

Stores that try to use iBeacon to inundate their customers with spam are likely to lose shoppers. Those that strike a balance between information and legitimate value in the form of discounts or coupons will gain shoppers.

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Dear Retailers,

We do not want more advertising.  What we DO want is a way to find things in you stores without having to flag down and ask someone!  It’d be incredibly useful to just tap in “Product X”, have it come back with “Aisle 5, shelf 3, half way down”, and then have it guide you to the product GPS-style.

Imagine a shopping list app that automatically put things in order, and efficiently guided you through the store.  No back-tracking to find things.  Of course it’ll just happen to guide people past on-sale or impulse-buy items, but if it’s not too overboard we might be able to live with it. smile

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