iBeacons are the perfect way to bring online and offline together. It is easier to apply than the existing technology of Near Field Communication, better known as NFC. It is also possible to apply this technology with a growing number of smartphone users already. iBeacons are small sensors that detect if and which smartphones are nearby. The name iBeacon is a brand name that apple uses for this technology, but in general you also see the term beacons. The iBeacons are a real game changer because they bring the benefits of the online and offline world together in one experience.
What is an iBeacon and how does it actually work?
When you want to find out what iBeacons actually are, all kinds of terms fly by. However, only three are important: iBeacon, NFC, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). As mentioned, the term iBeacon is a brand name, because it is a technology developed by Apple and is already standard on every iOS7 device. It is not that only Apple uses this technology. The majority of mobile devices on the market, such as Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nokia Lumia, and Blackberry, are all BLE compatible.
The iBeacons are small boxes that work with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). These have a range of approximately 50 meters. Via BLE, an app on your smartphone can estimate whether and how close an iBeacon is. For example, in a store the iBeacon estimates the location of a customer and then sends information about a product when the customer has installed your app. iBeacons are an alternative to NFC technology. NFC also occurs in smartphones but only works at a very short distance. In order to use NFC you must keep your phone next to an NFC tag, but an iBeacon sends information directly to the device. NFC is therefore used more often for payments and iBeacons to send information. However, payments can also be made via BLE technology, this then works via the Apple Waller or a similar Android app.
iBeacons and tritonX
Via the API module of tritonX it is possible to link an external application in real time and integrate with tritonX. This creates a central point where current customer data is always consulted. This integration ensures that the iBeacons can be managed from tritonX. The API modules makes it possible, for instance, to integrate iBeacons for a loyalty app. You can think of a welcome message as soon as the customer enters the store, where the customer using the loyalty app is rewarded. The customer can also receive specific offers on their smartphone.
The iBeacons are also interesting in combination with an Apple Wallet integration. This is a replacement for, or addition to, the classic plastic customer card. This digital customer card can be stored by customers themselves on their smartphone. Apple has the standard Apple Wallet for this, but Android users can also download a free app for this. This “smart” card contains the name, barcode, and customer number. The current savings balance of the customer is also visible. Via an iBeacon, or even GPS location, the customer in (or near) the store can get a notification on their homescreen.
- Promote loyalty through specific benefits in, for example, a loyalty app
- Offer a customer a very personal and interactive shopping experience
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