US retail giant Target has begun testing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons in 50 stores nationwide to send deals and recommendations on nearby products directly to a shopper’s smartphone running the retailer’s iOS mobile app.
“When you’re located near one of the 50 test stores — in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle — you will be prompted to opt in to share your location and receive push notifications,” Target says.
“Let’s say you’re shopping in the baby department. Once you opt in to this new technology, product recommendations from BabyCenter may pop up on your iPhone via push notifications or in-app updates on the Target App’s Target Run homepage. The Target Run page is like a social media site’s newsfeed, so the latest content, ie product recommendations or coupons based on your location, is added on top of the page.”
“We’re already working to develop additional features for future releases, including the ability to dynamically re-sort your shopping list as you move through the store, like how smartphone maps re-route when you veer off course,” the retailer adds.
“We’re also planning to launch a service in the Target app where you can request the help of a store team member right from your phone.
“Based on results and the guest feedback we receive from the 50-store test, we’ll continue to enhance and adapt the service, which isn’t currently available for Android devices — we’re working on that, too. We also plan to expand the service to more stores later this year.”
“We’re excited to start using beacon technology to offer real-time, relevant content and services that can help make shopping at Target easier and more fun,” says Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com and mobile.
“This is another way Target is bridging mobile and stores, and using digital to enhance the in-store shopping experience. We look forward to seeing how our guests respond to what we’ve built.”
Target is a member of retailer-led consortium MCX, which is planning to launch its CurrentC mobile wallet in a “mid-sized” market this Summer following in-store tests this month. The retailer has also announced plans to support in-store Apple Pay payments.