Tech Spotlight: Beacons deliver recipes and boost app use 50%

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Allrecipes, Marc's stores and Verifone are partnering to provide beacon-triggered meal ideas, recipes and product suggestions to shoppers via a mobile app. Early results from the launch are making a strong use case for beacons that goes beyond delivering a coupon at the shelf.

Here's how it works: Shoppers with the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app will trigger the beacons installed in all 58 Marc's stores in Ohio. Hyperlocal meal recommendations will be pushed to the user along with recipes featuring products on sale at that particular Marc's store. Seasons and local weather will help inform the suggestions.

The program is designed to address shoppers' immediate need of what to make for dinner that night, and provide relevant, money-saving deals.

Shoppers view 35 million Allrecipes.com recipes monthly from their phones while they are in store making grocery purchase decisions, according to the company. Close to 66 percent of the website's traffic comes from mobile devices, and the app has been downloaded by 23 million users.

A soft launch in May delivered a 50 percent increase in app usage in the designated Marc's stores areas, according to Allrecipes.com.

"As the grocery industry evolves, we're seeing technology and retail converge in new and innovative ways," said Stan Pavlovsky, Allrecipes president. "We understand the importance of using technology to craft in-store engagements that are personal to shoppers, stores and brands, and this partnership serves as a first step in providing timely, relevant meal solutions for busy home cooks as soon as they walk through the door."

The initiative is being powered by the Footmarks SmartConnect proximity platform across Verifone's beacon system.

"The collaboration has produced a truly unique shopper experience," says Brian Slettvet, SVP sales at Footmarks. "It's a great showcase of how enterprise-level beacon technology, coupled with innovative apps retailers and partners like Allrecipes, Marc's and Verifone plays an important role in creating next generation mobile and retail engagement solutions."

It's also a rare example of beacons being deployed for more than pushing sale and product information. Beacons have been a hot topic in retail for the past two years, and while many retailers are testing the technology, most programs remain in the test phase. Attendees and panelists at Shoptalk last month in Las Vegas called beacons a solution without a problem.

Unless that problem is what to make for dinner.

For more:
- see this background on Allrecipes

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