Beacons are small devices that send their identifier to nearby portable electronic devices by using Bluetooth. This means your smartphones, tablets and other devices can perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon. For example, a notification can be send when you enter a place marked with a beacon. With the help of an iBeacon, a smartphone’s software can approximately find its relative location in a store.

Business impact of beacons

Using beacons at fairs, in stores or even outdoors can give you insights on the number of passers-by/customers and allows you to interact with them.

These insights can be created per location as well as based on the time they spent at a specific place. Based on these locations, you can start interacting with your customers. Some examples of these interactions are:

  • retail stores use beacons to offer their customers special deals through mobile marketing.
  • Used in Smart Cities you can send messages when a user is at a specific place. For example at a traffic jam, an application can show relevant information about the type of problem. At a bus stop relevant information about arrival times can be shown.
  • In real estate beacons can be very useful to send information on real-time availability of parking space, meeting rooms,…

At Endare

One of the projects for which we used iBeacons was the Carrefour CAP2020 project in Mons where Carrefour presented their store of the future in 2015. The customer was presented with personalised promotions based on his/her location in the store. iBeacons are used to track the customers location. Whenever the customer is near a shelf with a promotion, based on the iBeacon in that shelf, which is interesting for that customer, he receives a notification with a discount coupon in it. Carrefour can configure these coupons, together with the iBeacons, in a CMS. The application will fetch them via an API at startup to trigger the correct promotions.