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Beacon technology enables retailers to contact smartphone users in-store

Bluetooth is back and is being used to send targeted real-time marketing messages to customers. But it's got a new name: beacon technology.

Not suprisingly, it's already being used in the US. In department stores people are shopping with their phones out and receiving messages about various promotions in the store, triggered when the customer walks past a particular area/item.

According to research from eDigitalResearch 45% of smartphone owners would be ‘very willing’ or ‘somewhat willing’ for retailers to send messages to their smartphone.

Virgin Atlantic is trialing Apple’s iBeacons at Heathrow airport. The airline is using the technology for customer engagement and personalisation.

James Shanahan, Virgin's head of ebusiness development, said: "The beacons are very good at providing us with information on who you are and where you are so one of the things we are looking to do is, on arrival to the clubhouse, we can greet you by name and because we know who you are we know what your favourite cocktail is and we can have one waiting at the bar as you walk on in."

James Berry, director of ecommerce at Collinson Latitude, said: “If you want to improve customer loyalty with your brand, embrace technology that helps you deliver a more tailored and positive customer experience.

"Customers are craving a more social, local and mobile customer experience, so regardless of what industry you are in, you must be aware of technology like beacons that help deliver a more positive and tailored experience for your end user.” (Source: B2B Marketing)

> Beacons explained

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