EpiCentre recently invested in Apple’s iBeacon technology. iBeacon is a device that delivers Bluetooth signals and allowing marketers to send location-targeted promotions and content to users.
iBeacon functions as part of EpiCentre’s membership programme, allowing members to earn points through their mobile app when they visit the stores. For example, visitors earn 10 points every time they step in to a store. EpiCentre also uses iBeacons to deliver location-targeted discount coupons to customers near their stores, amongst other uses. Currently, all 10 EpiCentre stores are iBeacon enabled, and the brand is looking into an iBeacon payment system as well.
Lastly, location-based technology such as GPS and GSM do not render accurate results when used indoors. However, there are other location-based technologies that work indoors, such as geo-fencing and iBeacons. iBeacons are, however, very much much in-app, and customers still need to download and install the app on their phone. This can be cumbersome. Also, customers need to switch on the Bluetooth on their mobile devices to experience the iBeacon.
Generally there is slow adoption by retailers for such technology in Singapore, especially among traditional retailers. One reason for this is low user adoption and education about such technologies. I think it boils down to a chicken and egg issue: Retailers need to find compelling reasons that location technology can complement their existing businesses.