Regent Street: A Model in iBeacon for Shopping Centers

Regent Street in London U.K. marks the first shopping district in Europe to roll-out a mobile app utilizingproximity beacon technology to amplify the shopping experience for users walking along the street.  By placing Bluetooth proximity beacons in the entryway’s of every store location along the strip, the app aims to push both relevant offers and information to users as they shop.  Even better, the app builds customer profiles by asking users to notate categories of interest including brands, products, and the like in order to make the offers pushed to them as relevant as possible.

The entire deployment is an effort to utilize the benefits of digital technology to allow customers the opportunity to better explore what the street has to offer and discover new brands and products they may have not been familiar with.  This sort of implementation is a brilliant use of the technology, as it directs users along the shopping corridor according to new product offerings, events they may be interested in, as well as delivers exclusive offers only available by being physically present on any given day, directly to the smartphone already in their hands.  With that in mind, there is incentive for shoppers to take a leisurely stroll and visit Regent Street in order to reap in the benefits, driving business to valuable storefronts.

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Malls, shopping centers, and shopping districts worldwide can benefit similarly by implementingproximity beacon technology using Regent Street as a model.  Take a mall for instance.  By placing beacons throughout an indoor mall, at storefronts, food courts, parking structures, and any other points of interest, mall administrators can communicate with their visitors like never before, with personalized relevant content based on their location.  Using these proximity beacons, the mall can then push meaningful offers to visitors such as a discounted lunch special as they pass by the food court and alerts for merchandise of interest and sales right as they are walking by a given storefront.  Or, the mall could send a push notification reminder of an upcoming show-time of a movie you have been wanting to see with a coupon for free popcorn and a direct link to purchase tickets.  The best part is, they can socialize the entire experience allowing you to interact with fellow visitors, not just mall administrators.  For instance, say your friend Sally is currently browsing the shoe department in Macy’s.  The app can notify you of her presence within the mall, triggering you to send her a quick text that you are also shopping and want to grab a drink when she is finished.  All these examples are meaningful ways in which a mall could amplify their visitor experience through the real-time benefits of proximity based technology.  The possibilities for features that could be implemented is too long to list.

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It is only a matter of time before, taking Regent Street as a model, similar shopping centers take the innovative step forward to interact with their visitors in meaningful new ways through custom mobile apps, while providing true benefit for their customers.