The largest drugstore chain in New York is tracking consumer movements before they even walk through the door. Using Apple’s latest micro-location technology, the iBeacon, the brand’s app has been updated to send people personalized coupons and offers based on their proximity to the store and their purchase history. Launched on May 1st at ten Manhattan locations, the updated iPhone app enables the Walgreens-owned brand to engage with consumers through mobile interaction. When approaching one of the pilot stores, app users will receive notifications on their lock screen, coupon offers based on previous preferences and even product reviews for items they browse inside.
With iBeacon, Duane Reade aims to enhance the customer in-store experience by providing people with relevant information based on their location. As well as coupons, app users will have access to their loyalty program barcode, a product locator via the in-store map and instant Instagram 4X4 prints in-store.“The Duane Reade app plays an integral role in our omni-channel customer engagement strategy,” Calvin Peters, PR/Digital Communications Manager for Walgreens said in the press release. “It is incredibly important for Duane Reade to be where our customers are, including on their smart mobile devices”. Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about this type of technology. Launched discretely at WWDC 2013, the iBeacon uses a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) signal instead of longitude and latitude to detect the proximity of an iOS device. It can track iPhone users’ movements and alert apps when a person approaches or leaves a location, as well as monitoring their movements within. Using iBeacon, brands have a live feed of a customer’s movements which they can combine with data on their purchase history.
Unsurprisingly, this is an appealing mix for retailers and many have started to use it to target consumers. Macy’s and American Eagle Outfitters are currently testing the service and an Australian sunglass company have even incorporated it into their products. And the use of micro-location technology goes beyond retail, as recently we’ve seen the iBeacon transform experiences in the classroom, in galleries, museums and cars and even on an Easter egg hunt. Duane Reade’s use of the iBeacon is an example of where many retailers are headed with micro-location technology. And as the retail landscape changes, we can be sure that where consumers go, brands will follow.