American Eagle Outfitters Launches 100-Store ShopBeacon Trial

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) and Shopkick, are launching shopBeacon in 100 American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie stores in the U.S.

AEO is the latest retailer to deploy Apple's iBeacon in-store technology that allows shoppers to interact with retailers and brands using their mobile phones while in stores. Safeway (NYSE: SWY) and Giant Eagle have rolled out iBeacon to 150 supermarkets and, in December 2013, Apple rolled out iBeacon to all 254 of its U.S. stores.

Macy's (NYSE: M) launched a test of Shopkick's shopBeacon technology in November 2013 at two locations. AEO also tested the program and is now the largest retail deployment of the program to date.

iBeacon uses a low-frequency bluetooth signal to communicate to shoppers' smartphones via installed beacons within the store, eliminating the need for in-store wireless or wifi signals. It works with an AEO app installed on the shopper's phone.

As shoppers enter an AEO store, shopBeacon will welcome and show them location-specific rewards, deals, discounts and product recommendations – without them even having to remember to open the app. It can also tie at-home browsing behavior to in-store benefits; if the customer "likes" a specific product online, if they so choose, shopBeacon can remind them where in the store that product is sold. In the future, it can also deliver department-specific offers throughout the store – so must-have skinnies show up at the most useful time: in the jeans department.

"Shopkick first launched its app in our Times Square flagship store," said Joe Megibow, senior vice president of omnichannel ecommerce, AEO. "Now with shopBeacon, we can deliver a plug and play solution that works to personalize our customers' shopping experience in an impactful and powerful way."

American Eagle Outfitters is the first partner to deploy shopBeacon to 100 locations across the country, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Boston, and San Francisco, chosen based on high-level traction with Shopkick. By working with the 100 stores that have the highest traffic across the U.S., this trial is designed to deliver the most data and learning on how consumers enjoy shopBeacon. These stores join Macy's installations in its San Francisco and New York flagship stores, which went live just before Black Friday 2013, and were the first live installations of any iBeacon/BLE technology at any large retailer worldwide.

For more see:
-this press release
-this TechCrunch article

Related stories:
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Location-Sensing Helps Retailers Pinpoint 'Power Hours' for Shopper Activity 
Solving In-Store Connectivity is Key To Serving Up Mobile
Apple's iBeacons To Let Stores Beam Location-Based Offers To iPhones