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South Coast shopping centre adopts beacon tech

By Retail Technology | Tuesday March 18 2014

Beacon technology introduced by Eastleigh's Swan Centre to deliver targeted promotions to instore customers and narrow gap between 'clicks and bricks'

A shopping centre in Eastleigh, Hampshire, has become the first in the UK to introduce location-based push marketing using Bluetooth low energy (BLE) based beacon technology.

The roll out at The Swan Centre allows shoppers inside the centre to receive discount offers from retailers straight to their phones – without having to open an app or browse a website. And it enables retailers to acknowledge their customers’ presence and deliver targeted ads.

Developed by Brighton-based tech startup TagPoints, it has integrated its ‘TagBeacons’ platform into The Swan Centre’s white label ‘SmartRewards’ app. The BLE, also known as Bluetooth Smart, devices ‘ping’ a location message to enabled smartphones within a maximum range of 50 metres, allowing consumers who have downloaded the retailer’s app to receive GPS location-based content and advertising.

New levels of store engagement

Customers receive loyalty points and targeted sales and promotions alerts as they travel through the centre, based on their physical location within building. And the developer reported that, in the four weeks since launch, 1,250 have downloaded the app and registered for the SmartRewards scheme at the Swan Centre.

“There’s a real buzz within the retail industry about the potential of location-based technology to help engage with and market services to the public,” said Mark Robinson, investment director at Ellandi, owner of the Swan Centre.

“It offers them the ability to connect with motivated customers and deliver filtered offers and discounts – based location and proximity – directly to their mobile phones. Our merchants are now able to communicate directly with customers and positively influence their spending patterns without having to lift a finger.”

Motivated to connect with brand

“We’ve already seen that when shoppers receive targeted offers – based on where they are within the shopping centre – they’re more motivated and hence likely to use them and connect with the brand behind the offer,” added Dave Mitchell, TagPoints co-founder. 

“As well as building customer loyalty, the system enables retailers to gain data about their end users that previously has been beyond them – and help close the loop between the digital and bricks and mortar worlds.“

Tagpoints, which won second place in Mobile Marketing Magazine’s ‘Barca Starta’ competition at the Mobile World Congress earlier this month, also said it had signed three commercial contracts in the UK and US. 

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