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?
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?