Hong Kong mobile network operator SmarTone has introduced ST Beacon, a marketing service that lets retailers send promotional messages to customers with an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth.
“ST Beacon employs Bluetooth technology and is compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Bluetooth 2.1 and 3.0, providing compatibility with a wide range of Android and iOS smartphones in use today,” SmarTone says. “Multiple ST Beacons can be deployed in a retail location, by simply plugging into AC mains outlets, or they could be battery powered.”
“The ST Beacon and all apps supporting it are open to users of all cellular networks in Hong Kong, and not just limited to SmarTone customers,” the carrier adds. “The apps also support WiFi connectivity.”
“ST Beacon allows tailored messages to be delivered at a retailer’s store — from welcome messages, to prompts for new arrivals, small-area promotional messaging, or even product information in close proximity to a product on display,” says Douglas Li, CEO of SmarTone.
“With ST Beacon, we aim to create new possibilities for retailers to better engage customers and increase sales,” he adds. “Bluetooth Low Energy technology is increasingly adopted in smartphones, allowing Bluetooth to be permanently switched on.
“This opens up huge potential for innovation in cloud-enabled location-based services that can be highly tailored, effective and cost efficient. SmarTone intends to lead this emerging trend.”
ST Beacon is currently in beta testing with a new SmarTone service called Red Pass Delights which provides users with special offers from a range of retailers. Launch partners include Red Ant restaurants and Ant One casual dining, Oliver’s Super Sandwiches, Espressamente Illy and Cova.