Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Apple Becomes Retailers Best Friend with iOS8 and iBeacons

Given that iPhone users spend more when it comes to mobile shopping, Apple continues this trend with  its vision and strategy around user engagement. Email tristian@indoorLBS.com for details, and here are the 4 main takeaways:

1. iPhones will make it really easy for the user to open the app that is most relevant to user's current location. For example, we took a screenshot of using iPhone at Starbucks: the lock screen presents the Starbucks app icon for easy access!

2. In case the user does not have the app installed on their iPhone, the iPhone will nevertheless propose the app and suggest the user downloads it from the App Store. Clever!   New ways of app discovery and user engagement!  Our thinking is that Apple's "Near Me" feature in the App Store was not that popular, so they found a new way ("think different"!) of relevancy.  Are you thinking, "Wow, this is too intrusive?" Well, Apple designed it in a very subtle way, a small icon on your lock screen. 

3. Of course inside the retail stores, many retailers are already testing and deploying iBeacons for superb customer service, marketing engagement, and fun! 

4. So what's next Apple? RetailKit?  Given what Apple will be enabling with the HomeKit (image below), a similar scenario might emerge for retail stores, malls, train stations, where the iPhone will be able to interact with different systems, e.g., POS, digital screens, etc.  Minority Report anyone?  

Developers are busy at this week's Apple WWDC Dev Con prototyping the latest capabilities possible with iOS8 and iBeacons. Apple deployed iBeacons throughout the conference venue and uploaded the venue's floorplan map into the WWDC app: