iBeacon Hits the Grocery Stores

The Lempert Report
January 24, 2014

It’s already hard enough to live without our mobile devices…and it’s only going to get harder!

Apple’s new technology, ibeacon, is starting to make an appearance. ibeacon lets businesses set up transmitters which can tell nearby smartphones of their presence. So how can shops really benefit from it? They can use the new technology to send customers special offers for goods they are walking past, prepare pre-ordered items for pickup, or remind customers about their shopping list, for example… the bread you need to buy when you walk past the bakery.

Mobile shopping startup InMarket started using Apple’s in-store location technology, iBeacon, recently to send shoppers deals, rewards and grocery list reminders inside U.S. grocery stores to the 20 million people who use its apps.

So how will this affect retailers? Given the mobile dependency of the modern shopper, this can be a very useful tool for stores to boost their online marketing presence.   And as mobile devises become more and more prominent for the shopper, companies like Apple and Google will continue to push these types of technologies. With this is mind, Retailers should use these developments as tools, but not at the expense of their own digital strategies.  There’s no reason why supermarkets can’t set up their own mobile apps that can be customized to the consumer, reminders for a shopping list, current deals, and even have deals and coupons emailed to them. 

Apples’ new technology is a reminder that this is the shopping of the future and retailers need to maintain their own digital presence.