What is Apple’s iBeacon and How Will It Affect My Business?
Without a doubt, whenever Apple releases a new method of…well, doing anything, it makes headlines. It’s something we’ve come to expect in not only the mobile industry, but pop culture as a whole. Few features have made a splash the way that it’s latest set of features have.
Far too often, Apple is perhaps limited to being seen on the surface as a “consumer-only” brand. It of course has a commanding presence in the consumer technology market but when we think “business,” sometimes our minds go to scenes from ‘Office Space,’ with 80’s cubicles, checkered dress shirts, and Microsoft Office. That’s obviously a bit of an exaggeration, but is an undeniable truth if we’re honest. Apple has redefined the consumer markets and has now focused it’s sights on changing the way the business happens — not only online, but from the moment you enter a store!
Imagine you’re a business owner, watching hundreds of people walk by your store every day. You’d like to be able to open the door, introduce yourself and learn about them. You know that once you did, there are products in your store that would be perfect for them. You could offer them that sale that’s about to end, or help pick the perfect shirt for the dinner party. The problem is, traditional marketing techniques continue to flood our lives. Banners, posters, billboards and commercials. How do you standout? How do you sift through all the people that aren’t your target customer and reach out to your perfect customers? How do you understand what they like and offer the perfect deal — without looking like a crazy, hard-sell business owner? You guessed it.
iBeacon is a combination of some really cool technologies, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll explain it like this: iBeacon is like WiFi and Bluetooth, squished together into a business owner’s dream. When you use iBeacon, you have a simple, easy to use little pod in your store. It’s like a WiFi hotspot or a bluetooth headset and comes in the form of a router, pod, flash drive or even just software integrated into an existing mobile app. When a potential customer walks near your store, iBeacon reaches out for you and sends a push notification to their device (iOS or even some Android devices!) that offers a great deal, store coupon or really — anything!
It doesn’t stop there, either. Because iBeacon uses Bluetooth, it can get really aware of where someone is, inside your store. Offer one discount to someone browsing the shoes, while the person in the pants section gets a whole different one. The implications of this can even allow integrated shopping and payments, from a user’s device — meaning they pay on their device, right to you, without having to even take out their wallet.
Pretty neat, right?
We think so too — and it’s not just limited to stores. Movie theaters, stadiums, farmers markets, the list goes on! It’s a breeze to incorporate into a new or existing software system, and our team is extremely experienced in making it look great.