Montreal-based men's online clothing retailer Frank & Oak announced plans to incorporate Apple's new Bluetooth Low Energy technology (iBeacon) in a pop-up store this holiday season.
According to Mobile Commerce Daily's Chantal Tode (Nov. 8), Frank & Oak hopes to use iBeacon to enhance the in-store shopping experience and push marketing to customers' iPhones.
iBeacon helps make omnichannel a reality, enabling a multi-touch retail experience.Frank & Oak CEO Ethan Song
“iBeacon is really bringing the vision of omnichannel together. It is not about traditional commerce, it is about multi-touch experience,” said Ethan Song, CEO of Frank & Oak, as quoted by Tode. “iBeacon will enable retailers to market to their customers in a more precise way and to really personalize the experience.
“iBeacon is one of the ways that Apple is looking to bring together the local and the online experience,” he said. “To be able to market to your customer as they walk into the store in a unique way that’s hyper, hyper local that is within a specific retail environment.”
The article goes on to explain how iBeacon works and some of the benefits it could offer retailers: most important of which is "proximity marketing." As we've previously blogged, iBeacon is a means of using a customer's location near/within a store to send personalized marketing and messaging directly to his/her iPhone.
The bigger challenge is actually getting consumers to download a retailer's app so iBeacon can connect to their phones.
But that's the easy part. The hard part involves retailer app adoption. You see, for Frank & Oak to actually push notifications to would-be customers' phones via iBeacon, those customers must first have the Frank & Oak app on their phones.
That's really the missing link to this whole "proximity marketing" concept. It's also the missing link for most retailers' mobile loyalty apps and the adoption of things like Passbook. The whole mobile marketing process depends on four things: 1. hardware adoption, 2. app adoption, 3. consumer participation and 4. purchase.