Industry leader BestFit Mobile Outlines True Potential of Apple’s iBeacon Technology for Retail
Much has been written about the latest Apple technology, but are retailers missing the mark?
AUSTIN, Texas – January 13, 2014 – Most retailers are overlooking the most significant business advantages – and the true potential – of Apple’s newest software feature, iBeacon, according to North America’s leading provider of iBeacon technology solutions, BestFit Mobile.
iBeacon, Apple’s new iOS7 feature that allows mobile devices to communicate using Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE), has captured the attention of the retail world, rolling out with considerable fanfare in Apple stores, MLB ballparks, and several large retail brands across the US.
Founded in 2009 and developing BLE retail solutions for the past two years, BestFit Mobile says much of the conversation surrounding the technology has been misguided. “The great majority of retail, technology and business media attention has focused on in-store iBeacon and BLE hardware, which, by itself, offers no business value to retailers,” said Bret Cunningham, president and COO of BestFit Mobile.
“The true potential of iBeacon is only realized through a customized software solution that engages customers, places a powerful tool in the hands of in-store associates, and ultimately enables retailers to deliver a superior, highly personalized shopping experience.”
When paired with the right software-based solution, BLE technology addresses multiple challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers that have lost ground to prominent ecommerce sites like Amazon, according to a recent white paper released by BestFit Mobile. Over recent years, ecommerce and the increasing capabilities of mobile phones have presented challenges for retailers. Disengaged shoppers browse products and simultaneously leverage mobile to comparison-shop for better deals offered by competitors. iBeacon technology represents a pathway for retailers to reverse the effects of having so many informed mobile users inside the store, from a threat, to a compelling advantage.
“When we look at the success of Amazon, they’ve managed to increase conversion and basket size often at the expense of traditional retailers,” Mr. Cunningham said. “With the right mix of cutting-edge technology, retailers can have the tools to combat showrooming and online purchases. The foundation of that mix, however, must be customized software that interacts with beacons, not the beacons themselves.”
Customer targeting, personalization and tracking were tools once considered the exclusive domain of online retailers. However, with the right customized apps optimized for BLE, retailers can regain the shopper intelligence derived from the digital world, and apply it to a physical space, allowing the in-store service delivery to be better than ever before.
The combination of advanced software solutions and iBeacon with BLE sensors can deliver a wide range of benefits to both retailers and their customers, including:
1) Store navigation maps on customer applications
2) Help requests from customer to associate
3) Product info, comparisons, reviews, and precision location assistance
4) Associate applications for on-floor customer assistance
5) Cross selling opportunities at employees’ fingertips
6) Seamless, secure customer mobile payments
7) Targeted in-store digital couponing campaigns
8) Customer loyalty programs
9) Digital carts with endless aisle ordering
10) Mobile POS
11) Cutting edge analytics
The right BLE-enabled apps also help retailers gain significant insights into how customers shop, what brand decisions they make, and how they convert. These are the same advantages online retailers have enjoyed for years, but brick-and-mortar stores were unequipped to leverage—until now.
BestFit Mobile continues to be a thought leader in the industry regarding the best use cases for iBeacon technology. More information, including a link to the white paper, can be found at bestfitmobile.com/ibeacon/
About BestFit Mobile
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, BestFit Mobile develops and markets smartphone-based solutions designed to reinvent how consumers interact with brick and mortar retailers. Leveraging over two years of institutional knowledge in Low Energy Bluetooth, BestFit Mobile creates customized solutions for retailers to reduce showrooming, gain actionable data on shopper behavior and increase sales opportunities, while creating an elegant user experience for the consumer. Additional information on BestFit Mobile is available at www.bestfitmobile.com.