Estimote are the largest suppliers of iBeacons at present

Estimote are the largest suppliers of iBeacons at present

What its about

Over 64% of adults in western countries according to a recent Nielsen report own a smart phone. Significantly, globally smart phone penetration is forecast to more than double to 5.6 billion Smartphone subscriptions by the end of 2019. iBeacon technology pinpoints where a customer is with precise accuracy down to a meter. Bluetooth low energy technology allows brands to engage users as the move through locations to offer them a better user experience and engage with them in relevant and valuable manners. A typical example would be a customer receives a notification which provides them with reviews and ratings from other consumers for the item they are browsing.

Smartphone penetration is set to surge over the next five years

Smartphone penetration is set to surge over the next five years

Using push notification technology, with iBeacons to identify the location of an app user, coupons, promotions, passbook offers, rich HTML pages etc can be delivered to the device.  Macy’s is one of the first retail establishments to trial this technology.

The iBeacon in action on a smartphone


The iBeacon in operation in Macy’s

Future prospects

So far several industries have experimented with the technology such as boutique retailers, marketing and advertising companies, museums and medical centers. One industry that looks set to benefit from the iBeacon revolution is Mobile Payments. iBeacon will be part of an Apple strategy for mobile transactions which will help to manage “passes” or a array of digital documents including coupons, loyalty cards, receipts boarding passes and the likes. Take Walmart for example, you arrive at the store, they know you are there via iBeacon and their CMS will have already saved your credentials if you have already volunteered that information. The technology also represents opportunities for brick and mortar stores to bridge the gap between the offline and online consumer.


In-store location data has the added benefit of understanding consumer behavior in store. For example further behavioral analysis can be carried out to determine why a customer went down aisle 1 and not aisle 2, or you can see that a user spent a large amount of their time browsing shoes but never made a purchase. Ultimately the aim should be to monetize on this insight adding value to both the consumer and the retailer. According to XtremePush CEO, Tommy Kearns, iBeacon will revolutionise how retailers, venues, museums, hospitals, parks etc use their mobile applications and their mobile relationship management tools to interact and engage with their users.