Macy's Launches ShopBeacon Technology to Detect When Customers Enter Stores

Redeeming deals and discounts via mobile phone just got a little easier for Macy's (NYSE: M) shoppers. Today, Nov. 20, the retailer launched a trial run with Shopkick's new ShopBeacon technology, which will help the company connect with smartphone-wielding shoppers when they enter stores.

Here's how it works: When shoppers who have the Shopkick app on their phone enter a Macy's store, they will receive a pop-up reminder to launch the app and receive rewards and coupons. The app will know the customer is in the store thanks to ShopBeacon units, small plastic transmitters which will be mounted on the stores' walls near the entrance. Until now, shoppers had to remember to launch the Shopkick app themselves when visiting stores.

ShopBeacon begins trials today in Macy's stores in New York City and San Francisco. There are later plans to launch in more retail locations such as Best Buy, JCPenney, Macy's, Old Navy, and Target, all of which currently offer rewards through the Shopkick app.

Shopkick, which boasts 6 million users, developed the technology with Apple's iBeacon-based signal using iOS7 Bluetooth Low Energy mobile protocol. This is what will trigger the alert on iPhones and Androids even when the phone is in sleep mode. An estimated 30 percent of all smartphone users could be eligible to receive the iBeacon alerts on their phones.

Developments for the service have been in the works for over a year and the Macy's trial runs are expected to last a few weeks before rolling out to more stores.

For more see:
This TechCrunch article
This Women's Wear Daily article

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