We all know retail is being transformed by mobile technology and big data…that story is being told pretty much everywhere. Some of the biggest changes, however, are the ones happening very quietly and without hype.
The recent release of Apple’s iOS7 gave us iBeacons, something Apple didn’t shout about publicly but is clearly the reason why Apple has been dead silent on wireless payments. But the story is bigger than Apple.
Going beyond Apple’s iBeacons
The story is starting to break more broadly than Apple…The Register ran a story today on UK’s Tesco releasing the Hudl Android Tablet that takes advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Likewise, Paypal released Beacon, a small USB device that can be plugged into a wall or computer to create a hands-free wireless payment system also using BLE technology.
Tie these three together and it becomes clear there’s a significant shift afoot that suddenly drastically improves our ability to know where a shopper, worker or any individual is with a high degree of accuracy and to communicate very specific information at the precise moment that it matters most. This is far more accurate than using GPS and uses far less battery.
How will people give up their specific location without feeling stalked? For three very specific reasons. Their location information:
- is part of doing their job well or an expectation of their employer
- allows a brand to provide them with information or offers they perceive as valuable
- allows a third party to offer something convenient, time saving or life improving
- allows them to connect to friends, family or people they’d like to connect with
Think about the marketing and business process management opportunities this presents. Think about the integration this will require. This will transform retail.
Thank you Simon Parker for spotting the story in The Register.