Will 2014 be the year of iBeacon?

In a recent article in “The Guardian”, Martin Shellaker discussed his experience of a dinner table conversation with  Ian Malone, where they brainstorm on the future of iBeacons and how this innovative product can change the way shoppers buy products in-store.
Apple’s iBeacon is a creative  and intelligent technology which came along with Apple’s iOS 7.  Deploying beacons in retail stores and other locations helps retailers and brands engage their mobile customers with highly relevant content on the path to purchase.  In the recent past there have been some really outstanding sales campaigns designed around beacons by retail chains and big beverage brands.

America’s most popular retail branch Macy’s deployed iBeacons in its flagship stores in midtown Manhattan and San Francisco. This interactive mobile merchandising platform allowed Macy’s to track the consumer movement throughout the store, greeting them with different offers, discount coupons and product recommendations depending on the floor of department the customer is on. Other retailers like Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy, Crate and Barrel, JCPenney, Old Navy, Sport Authority and Target also implemented the beta version of beacons placed in-store to engage consumers.

For retailers implementing mobile customer experiences like this within their stores helps them to achieve a wider goal of making the physical shopping experience more engaging and interactive, thereby connecting customers who have taken to mobile use while shopping.

Again, FMCG giant Coca Cola, adopted iBeacons technology for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil in 2014. Strategically placing iBeacons in the World Cup stadium will give the audience a unique experience as they sit back and enjoy the World Cup finals.  The main attraction of Chochella Music and art festival was deploying iBeacons in the venues to deliver proximity aware notifications, navigation and information to audiences on the location of the music festival.

Moving away from the entertainment and retail space, Virgin Atlantic made an innovative change in the way fliers travel by deploying iBeacons in the airport to guide their fliers while they move around the airport. iBeacons placed in airports transmit information regarding currency conversion to discounts on food and beverages sold within the premises.

The most exciting part of iBeacons is unlike GPS it does not drain the phone battery and it opens avenues for brands to communicate with their customers not only at the store level but also in a different aisle as they move around the shop.

The Guardian says that iBeacons have the potential to change shopping patterns forever and we are inclined to agree to it.