Even publishers are starting to hop on the beacon bandwagon, including Gannett, which announced Monday that its popular Key Ring loyalty card app will now integrate the in-store tech.
Key Ring will join the inMarket Mobile to Mortar beacon platform, helping to target customers at large retailers (mostly grocery stores) using Bluetooth Low Energy and geofencing. It claims to be the first utility shopping app to make use of beacons in-store, offering retailers a new way to influence the buying process.
"Right now we're in the early innings of beacon adoption, and the savviest companies are jumping on board," Dave Heinzinger, director of communications at inMarket, told Mobile Commerce Daily. "Key Ring shoppers are going to get a context-based experience that will be integrated with the tools they love. At the same time, Key Ring just created a brand-new opportunity for its advertisers to reach folks at the point-of-purchase."
The new partnership will allow Key Ring to use its data on in-app customer behavior to trigger actions in-store. The app will be able to send push notifications to a user's phone based on what items they have added to their digital shopping cart. From there, they can show a targeted ad between the notification and the product page in the app, as shown below.
This new application increasingly demonstrates the versatility of in-store beacons for retailers and the variety of customers they can target. Condé Nast announced its own partnership with inMarket last month to use beacons with the Epicurious Recipes and Shopping List app, targeted at a very different customer demographic.
"In Condé Nast's case, Epicurious users love to use the app in-store and shop based on recipes they've liked," Heinzinger said. "Key Ring shoppers are different — they're more interested in loyalty rewards and saving money. It's a great example of how the phone has become a tool for different types of shoppers."
Integrating beacons with popular apps should make the relatively new tech more accessible, as well. InMarket has its beacons installed in a number of large national chains like Safeway (NYSE:SWY) and Giant Eagle in San Francisco, Cleveland and Seattle, but is expanding to New York, Boston and Miami in the near future. Key Ring, on the other hand, already boasts 10 million installs and 50 million loyalty card uploads in the four years it's been around, giving those beacons the potential for much greater reach.
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