Shopkick and Macy's Team Up for First Retail-Based iBeacons
Shopping app Shopkick has teamed up with Macy's to deliver the first retail-based iBeacons, allowing customers to find location-specific deals, discounts, and recommendations in the Shopkick app while in a participating Macy's store, located in Herald Square, New York and Union Square, San Francisco.
Apple's iBeacon microlocation APIs, first introduced at WWDC, are designed to access location data through the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on iOS devices, interacting with physical transmitters.
As shoppers enter Macy's, shopBeacon can remind those who've opted in to open their shopkick app, and in the future, also deliver personalized value with department-level granularity. Building on Apple's iBeacon, an iOS 7 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) mobile protocol, shopBeacon adds encrypted signals to protect retailers and consumers, and complements it with shop kick's other proprietary technologies for added accuracy and scale.
Shopkick's shopBeacons will welcome shoppers into a store when they enter, offering targeted deals and recommendations as customers peruse items in the store. The app does not need to be open for customers to receive the in-store alerts, and the recommendations are also tied into at-home browsing.
It can also tie at-home browsing behavior to in-store benefit; if the customer "likes" a specific product online, if they so choose, shopBeacon can remind them when they enter the store that Macy's sells it. Even better, in the future it can also deliver department-specific offers throughout the store – so favorite boots show up at the most useful time: in the shoe department.
iBeacon technology first appeared earlier this year, when Major League Baseball announced plans to begin incorporating Apple's iBeacon APIs into its MLB.com At the Ballpark app to create interactive experiences within stadiums in the near future.
Apple is also said to be incorporating iBeacon technology into its own Apple Store app and retail stores, providing customers with enhanced location-based product information and in-store services.
The Shopkick app and Macy's new shopBeacon technology is set to go live in a few weeks following a closed beta testing period.