Will Beacons Change Our Shopping Experience For Better or Worse?

Post 25 of 109

Beacons are on the rise.  At retail, they are supposed to enhance the consumers’ experience by identifying products and, better yet, deals that might please said consumer.  But only time will tell if these beacons are a benefit or an annoyance…










A number of years ago, when I first started learning about the tech and digital landscape, I came across a mobile app called Shopkick.

This shopping app displays merchandise from a variety of stores like Target and Best Buy to make sure you know about items you might like.

It also shares coupons and sales alerts and rewards you with “kicks” every time you enter a participating store and open the app.

Kicks (or points) add up and can be redeemed for gift cards, special product offers and other things.

At first I was very excited about the app.

But over time, I got annoyed by the push notifications I would get anytime I was anywhere near a Macy’s!

Enter beacons…

So, what are beacons you ask?

Beacons are a form of long-range communication that work via Bluetooth allowing a retailer, stadium, airport and many other places to transmit messages to you via your mobile device.

They allow for micro-locating so that they can provide information relevant to what you are seeing at that moment (think, a coupon for tissues when you are shopping in the paper goods aisle).

They also allow for information distribution so that the retailer can personalize your shopping experience.

Sounds great, right?

Offers meant specifically for you delivered exactly when you are shopping for the item being promoted – what could be better?

Well, what if you received five different offers for toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, napkins and paper cups all within a five minute time span?

Wouldn’t you get annoyed?

Right now, there are a number of different technology providers and there isn’t a formalized set of rules for how beacons will work, meaning that it could become extremely overwhelming.

I, for one, am excited about the new technology but am concerned about it becoming unwieldy; I guess only time will tell.

As always, let us know what you think in the Comments below…

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