Australia's St George Bank has begun trialling iBeacon technology in branches, pinging information to customers' iPhones when they enter the building.
The near-universal love affair with Apple technology will surely trigger initial trials even from businesses and consumers who have hitherto been apathetic to other LBS alternatives out in the market. Eventually, however, the critical success factors for
these location-based initiatives will shift from technology to things like content of "tailored information", location and time of alert. In a retail industry pilot, we're seeing much higher conversions for the targeted offer "20% discount off on coffee" sent
to someone just outside the coffee store (rather than inside) at 3PM (rather than 8PM).
Surely not just iPhones, this includes Android, Windows and other bluetooth enabled smartphones as well, see below for another interview with Kulkarni from ZD Net
According to Kulkarni, the main aim of using iBeacon is to help deliver a personalised experience to its customers each time they enter a branch by sending a welcome message and tailored information directly to their Apple, Windows, or Android device — as
long as its Bluetooth-enabled.
Indeed, BLE/iBeacon should be and is platform agnostic. Getting the right approach for any public or customer pilot is key - the right amount of (relevant) content and information delivered at the right time. Making it customer customisable (via the app)
is an added bonus.
I find Kulkarni's last statement above interesting - a bit of a first(?), a mobile-centric digital business model...
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