London Gains First Smart Retail Street
Regent street in London is pioneering a new approach to retailing in the Capital as part of a £1Billion investment.
The technology involves Bluetooth ‘beacons’ placed in every store that uploads offers to shoppers as they walk past or into a store. Shoppers can see this by downloading a free app. Shoppers can also vote the offers up or down.
The technology was developed by Apple and is known as iBeacon, and has slowly been adopted by brands like Burberry. Although it is connected to Apple the underlying technology is based on Bluetooth and any OS can support it, although Apple is the first to market with this technology.
Research also shows that shoppers are generally receptive to the technology.
However the technology could go too far and become a bit too ‘spammy’ and so retailers are encouraged to develop messages that are considered useful and reward loyalty rather than nag or go overboard with in-store gimmicks.
The issue of goof quality implementation is demonstrated by the failure of QR codes in the West, reports the Guardian, is due to this problem, except in Asia where the technology has been implemented successfully and is very popular. The ability to vote up or down ads in Regent Street should help ensure a good reception by shoppers.