Could iBeacon technology dominate our high streets?

Over the last 50 years technology has over exceeded all of our expectations. Smart phones, WiFi, MRI’s, fibre optics, social networking…the list is exhausting. So where are we going to be in another 50 years? …I know, it’s a scary thought.

Thinking about last weeks lecture and the ‘clue train manifesto‘ (see link to watch again), I wanted to see how the customer relationship could be made even stronger through technology…which is when i came across iBeacon!

Now you might be asking yourself what is iBeacon? This video gives a pretty good example…

It is a Bluetooth device that broadcasts an ‘identifier’ to nearby devices such as a mobile phone. When the smart device is within a close enough range to the proximity, it enables the smart devices to perform certain actions like  determine the devices physical location, track customers or even trigger a location based action like ‘check in online’ or send a push notification.

Now, for the exciting part

What could this technology mean for consumers?

Well, it could track exactly where you are in the store and let you know about special offers on that product. (10% off if you buy that product!) It could also, through connecting to the website, see what your last purchases were and let you know if an item is more suited for you. Supermarket Carrefour has utilised Beacons within store and how provide the location of exactly where you are in the shop and you can track down the item that you want…convenient right?

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ZD Net
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What could this mean for a business?

Well for a start, business will learn much more about customer demographics, what a consumers personal shopping habits are, market growth rate and what the consumer really wants!

So with positives on both sides…why has it not been a success?

It always takes one company to have a huge success for many others to follow. It’s almost like a game of dominos. Companies are clearly reluctant to spend time and resources in adopting a new technology, especially as the maintenance could be a struggle.

For consumers? Well that’s rather simple, they haven’t been given or sold on benefits of it for them. Consumers need to know that the technology has been adopted for a better customer experience and retailers need to adopt the iBeacons for the right reasons and not for the increase in sales and profitability.

This technology has endless possibilities and if a business gets this right, it’s going to be a huge success.

So, with that being said, what is your opinion on iBeacon? why hasn’t it been the big success that it planned to be?

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Nhu Nguyen says:

    Fascinating concept! I’d never heard of iBeacon before your blog post. In my opinion, I think people haven’t adapted this new technology yet because they might be hesitant about invasion of privacy in terms of the location aspect, and it doesn’t do anything amazingly innovative that they can’t already get. At the moment, I think consumers would definitely rather voluntarily seek out promotions or receive the existing marketing material through emails, ads, social media, TV… (that might already be enough marketing clutter for them). So I would say if this concept is being sold to them rather than being seen as a tool of convenience, they would only see it as a marketer’s way to further invade and bombard their lives with advertising (especially every time they go near a store?). Unless there are exclusive discounts, this incentive may possibly entice consumers.


    1. Very true! its very hard to change a consumers already tarnished perception of promotional materials, even if the business has the consumers best interests at heart. It sounds so great on paper, but it definitely has a long way to go, its doable but wouldn’t need a lot of time and motivation towards it and frankly, companies just don’t have that kind of resources to spare, especially smaller companies! Thank you for your feedback! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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