Panel research company Verve has added Apple’s iBeacon bluetooth-based location technology to its Community Panel app to extend its retail research opportunities. This bluetooth based technology allows Verve to track members as they travel into and around iBeacon fitted stores a development which is being rolled out by leading retailers for marketing purposes. Verve is one of the first, if not the first, to utilize this resource for scalable research purposes.
When a Verve Community Panel member enters a client’s store, their Verve App detects the in store iBeacon and the member’s exact location (down to aisle level). This data can then be used to trigger a range of activities such as preloaded surveys on their mobile devices based upon where they are/have been in the store, how long they remained in a given area and the journey they have taken through the store amongst many other things!
As Verve also hold with clear permission of members’ purchase behavior for many of their retail clients it is also possible to the link the journey taken with actual purchase data or not, in the case of abandoned journeys.
Georgina Botting, Director at Verve and retail research specialist states “iBeacon technology, teamed with our Research App and purchase data, opens up a huge number of opportunities for our retail clients. It allows us to conduct shopper research that is not only more accurate and more scalable than current methodologies, but that is also far more cost effective and quick to interpret, making high quality shopper research much more widely accessible.”
iBeacons make use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to communicate between the Verve App and the iBeacons, meaning that the detriment to battery life associated with GPS technology is no longer a problem. While BLE Technology sits at the heart of iOS, it has also been adopted by Android and all other major platforms.
Jon Gumbrell, Verve’s CTO states “BLE and iBeacon technology are set to be widely adopted by marketers and consumers alike as both gain true benefits from their use. At Verve we are at the forefront of enabling this technology to provide benefit for the research industry too.”