Window Shopping 20 Bluetooth Beacons Hit Londons Regent Street
Whether you were born to shop, or you consider it a necessary evil, we could all use an extra eye when it comes to shopping—a personal shopper, if you will. Someone who knows your interests, style, and can steer you toward deals that scream “you.” Thanks to Bluetooth® Smart technology beacons, now London’s Regent Street shoppers do – and the retail industry at large is taking note of the beacon trend.
Using Bluetooth Smart low-energy transmitters, the roughly 130 participating stores can detect when you’re in range of their sensors, and will push real-time notifications to your smartphone. From one-day-only exclusive offers, new brands aligned with a customer’s interests, or special events, the offers are all personalized for shoppers’ individual preferences. That’s because, after downloading the app, users create a customized profile by answering questions about brand and style preferences (sample questions include “do you wear glasses?” and “are you interested in skincare products?”).
The app also serves as one-stop shopping, explains Henry Lawson, CEO of autoGraph, the technology firm behind the Regent Street app. “It’s so much more convenient to download one app than to download each app from individual retailers,” he recently explained to BBC. As for privacy concerns, he assures us that the beacon doesn’t gather any information regarding the consumer. “The profile is completely controlled by the consumer, and we don’t record any of the information related to location,” he said. And thanks to Bluetooth technology’s power-efficient capabilities, users don’t have to worry about it draining battery life.
While Regent Street – aka The Mile of Style – is the test subject, it will be interesting to see whether other famous shopping streets (Fifth Avenue, anyone?) follow suit. In the meantime, individual stores all across the country from Target to Safeway use in-store promotions and pay-on-demand programs using beacon technology. Sports and concert venues are using beacons for geolocation and ordering food from the seats, so it’s clear that beacons will soon change the way we shop.
The Regent Street app, which debuted in 2014, is available for iPhone, iPad, or iPod.