In Melbourne, Victoria, a particular retail block used Apple’s Passbook and iBeacon technology combined with the centre’s free Wi-Fi network to provide promotional offers to the target passing customers.
The Werribee Plaza shopping centre initiative follows in the footsteps of other retail properties including Chatswood Chase, Chadstone and DFO Homebush.
iBeacons are small, inexpensive transmitters using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to detect nearby devices that can be housed in point of sale displays and merchandising areas.Using a smartphone’s native applications – such as Google Wallet or Apple Passbook – the smartphone listens for the signal transmitted by the beacons and responds with an offer or information when the phone comes into range.
Shoppers are presented with a catalogue of offers when they log in to the free Wi-Fi service which can then be stored on Google’s Wallet or Apple’s Passbook and redeemed in the centre.
iBeacons set up around the shopping centre will trigger a message on the device reminding the shopper that the offer is in a nearby store. Notifications can be turned off if shoppers no longer wish to receive discount offers.
Shoppers with devices lacking Bluetooth 4.0 can still take advantage of the offers without the location-based reminders.
Wendy’s, Gloria Jeans, Muffin Break and Donut King are among the retailers currently using the solution at the mall, and the plaza expects more will soon follow.
iBeacon technology is also being installed across the Australian network of Colonial First State shopping centres, and Westfield shopping centres in Belconnen, Burwood, Southland and Doncaster.
Virgin Atlantic has similarly been trialling iBeacon at Heathrow airport, with passengers delivered a mobile boarding pass as they approach security checkpoints.