Jul 14, 2014 02:19 AM EDT
The future of shopping could very well be through the mobile devices, even in brick-and-mortar stores. New data released by inMarket about its iBeacons show that the beacons are dramatically increasing app usage and ad engagement among shoppers.
According to inMarket, the beacons have increased user interactions with advertised products by a factor of almost 20. App usage was up by a factor of 16.5 among those who received push notifications via the iBeacons.
iBeacons were introduced by Apple with the reveal of iOS 7 at the 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple calls the tiny quarter-sized beacon "a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence [and] provides apps a whole new level of location awareness, such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum, or product displays in stores."
The beacons are a way for brands to interact with customers without any battery-draining frills like GPS. Instead, the beacons rely on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) geared to specific locations, allowing the user who walks through a store to receive the appropriate information on coupons and deals. iBeacon technology currently works with iPhones and newer Android phones.
Although the technology is Apple's, Venice-based inMarket is the first third-party supplier. inMarket, which works with over 100 brands and claims to reach 20 million U.S. shoppers, refers to iBeacons as a way for brands to "whisper in [the shopper's] ear" and also refers to it as part of its Mobile-to-Mortar (M2M) strategy.
"Successful geofencing improves the consumer experience while increasing engagement value for brands. With today's data release, we now have proof that consumers appreciate this value in a measurable way: They're more likely to keep apps that use beacon messaging, and they're more likely to interact with advertised products in-store thanks to beacons," said inMarket CEO Todd Dipaola.
"When we launched M2M in January, we set out to improve the shopping experience for brands, retailers and consumers," he added. "M2M is the first platform to showcase these exciting improvements at scale."
Retailers with inMarket's iBeacon technology include Safeway and Giant Eagle. Partner apps that interact with inMarket's iBeacons include Conde Nast's Epicurious and Gannet's Key Ring.
GE is also jumping on the iBeacon bandwagon with iBeacon-infused LED lights destined for Walmart.
Have you shopped with iBeacons? If you have, tell us about it in the comments section below.
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