Apple, The Home Depot, IBM, SOA Software, and Thoughtworks Share Their Perspectives on How To Use Apple iBeacons In Retail Environments

Tom Klein, CEO of Digital Scientists, moderated the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Retail Society’s Panel on Location-Based Experiences this morning, featuring leaders in the field of proximity sensing / location-based technology – Greg Mize, Director of Digital Marketing at the Atlanta Braves, Matt Demmler, Global Program Director, Emerging Technology at IBM, Ian Goldsmith, the Vice President of Product Management at SOA Software, David Smith, Mobile Product Manager at The Home Depot, and Rachel Brooks, Retail Technology Consultant at ThoughtWorks.

The panel started with a presentation by Orlando Luna, Sr. Systems Engineer at Apple, about iBeacons and Apple’s beacon technology.

If you missed it, here are 10 Key Insights from the event:

  • Beacons are like lighthouses – they’re a technology service, not a product, and companies can find the one that best suits them
  • Beacons and apps are the way to bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar shopping and tie the shopping experience together
  • iBeacon licensing does not allow you to track users
  • Apps and beacons run in the background and can actively push information, or passively collect information to better understand a consumer
  • “Opt-in” is key – make sure consumers opt into apps and programs before sending them information
  • When it comes to introducing proximity sensors to your shopping environment, ease into the technology – don’t scare the consumer
  • Bring the technology and marketing teams together to make an impactful change – not a tech problem, not a marketing problem, and neither can find a solution on their own – they must work together
  • The future of location-based experiences will most likely be a hybrid of the current proximity-based technology – wifi and triangularization, beacons, etc.
  • What’s key here is contextualization, personalization, and optimization; make sure the notifications are contextually relevant based on time and place, personalized to them and their needs, and optimized based on knowledge of what works and what doesn’t
  • The more data you have – and have access to, the better

When it comes to creating a location-based shopping experience, these well known brands are putting proximity sensors, such as iBeacons, to work to both inform current shopping behavior – and create entirely new shopping experiences.

For example, Orlando Luna, Sr. Systems Engineer from Apple, noted that iBeacon proximity sensors can be arrayed on stationary items – like an entrance, items that move on occasion – such as art in a museum. In addition, people could be or carry iBeacons – meaning that when the hot dog vendor gets close at the ball game, your Braves app might just let you know – or present the offer to you.

To learn more about the panelists and moderators:

      • Orlando Luna – Sr. Systems Engineer, Apple

    Greg Mize – Director of Digital Marketing, Braves.

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  • Matt Demmler – Global Program Director, Emerging Technology, IBM (@IBM @MrDemmler)

Ian Goldsmith – Vice President, Product Management, SOA Software (@SOASoftwareInc)