Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iBeacon technology may be coming to a grocery store near you. InMarket, a mobile shopping startup, just started using iBeacon to send shoppers deals and rewards inside grocery stores.
iBeacon’s appeal to companies
iBeacon technology is nothing new. This technology (which works with iOS 7) is already used inside Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail stores. Shoppers receive the notifications only if they download the app (like InMarket’s Checkpoints) along with the iBeacon to work.
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iBeacon presents fresh marketing possibilities for retailers and companies. This new technology makes it easier to track customers, get data on their purchasing preferences, and upsell them. InMarket has been around since 2010 and the company has used location-based advertising to customers.
Inside look at the technology
Joshua Brustein for Bloomberg Business Week elaborated, “InMarket has been selling advertisements based on location since 2010. In the past it relied on a combination of GPS, which is battery-intensive and can be inaccurate indoors, and customers themselves. When someone opened an app designed to be used in a store, for instance, the company deduced that person was, in fact, in that store. In other cases, it asked customers to scan bar codes, which established their presence in a certain place. With iBeacons, however, the company will know when anyone who has downloaded its Checkpoints loyalty app walks into a store. From there, let the marketing begin!”
The best part about using this technology in grocery stores is that customers tend to develop habits when shopping. It’s easier to track frequent customers at a store where technology can store useful data regarding habits of specific consumers. The only potential problem this could lead to is privacy infringement. InMarket says that all customers who download the application onto their mobile device opt in. There are still questions of how the customer data will be used.