iBeacons are small, cost-effective Bluetooth devices that talk with smartphones and can absolutely change the way you do business. For your business to take advantage of this amazing new technology, you need a mobile app developer to build you a smartphone application, or alter your existing mobile application to talk with iBeacons. Our focus at Vektor Digital is to build custom iBeacon mobile applications that let companies convert customers and streamline business.
How iBeacons work
iBeacons are small devices that transmit data via Bluetooth Low Energy to smartphones. Think about how your computer mouse talks to your computer without a cord, but only when close enough. iBeacons are made by many manufacturers and come with a variety of prices, battery lives and signal strengths. Hundreds of millions of iOS and Android devices are able to communicate with iBeacons, making them an awesome tool for many real-world applications.
Check out some of our favorite iBeacon applications in the Medical, Retail, Events & Trade Show, and Food industries:
Medical – clinics
- Check-in systems. Let patients schedule appointments and check in when they are in the clinic lobby. Receptionists can see a full list of those who’ve checked in and how long they’ve been waiting.
- Auto-display data. When a doctor or nurse enters a patient’s room, the patient’s records will automatically be displayed on a smartphone or tablet.
Retail – physical stores
- Store welcomes. When a customer enters your store, a welcome message can be pushed to their smartphone. “Welcome to our store. It’s cold outside, be sure to check out our great deals on gloves today.”
- Walker-by discounts. As a customer walks by your front door, a message will appear on their screen, encouraging them to stop in for specials. “Hey, stop on in today to check out our 20% off everything special.”
- Retail discounts. When a customer gets within a set boundary of an iBeacon, discounts or coupons can be pushed to their phone. This message can be pushed immediately, or on a timer. Imagine that you’re shopping for jeans and are in front of a pair you like, but are not sure about the price. After 30 seconds or so, you get a message on your phone that says the pair is now 15%-off.
- Tracking. Retailers can track where users are using their smartphone application while in-store. This data can be used to adjust merchandise locations and optimize customer-walking patterns for purchases.
- Find me help. Customers can press a button on their phone to request help from a sales associate. Associates can use their phone or tablet to locate the customer and help land a sale. If you’ve ever been to a busy big box hardware store, you know what I mean.
- Auto-display product data. See product details, reviews and more when within a set distance of that product. Let’s imagine you can’t decide between two flat screen TVs at your local electronics store. When online, you can quickly compare these TVs based on their specs. But, before iBeacon, it was difficult to do this comparison while in-store. Now, if you are close to the TV, detailed specs and reviews will instantly pop up on your phone.
- Smooth payments. Pay with your phone while in-store, have your receipt displayed, and show it to the security guard on the way out.
Events & Trade Shows
- Scavenger hunts. Allow attendees of your event or trade show to earn points or win badges by visiting different stands or booths.
- Tag, you’re it game. Let your visitors play tag with each other, using their smartphones. One or more visitors are designated “it” and when close enough to another player, that player becomes “it”.
- King of the hill. Have your concert attendees earn points when they stand near one of your iBeacons for a certain length of time. Throughout the game, the location of “the hill” moves to different iBeacons we have installed throughout the venue.
Food – restaurants, bars
- Restaurant welcomes. When a customer enters your restaurant, a welcome message can be pushed to their smartphone.
- Walker-by discounts. As a customer walks by your front door, a message will appear on their screen, encouraging them to stop in for specials.
- Check-in systems. Let folks put their name on the wait list when inside your restaurant. The host or hostess can easily view and manage customer check-ins and wait times. Once seated, the iBeacon attached to your table will tell waiters and waitresses which table you are seated.
- Smooth payments. Place your order without interacting with wait staff. After your food arrives, easily split the bill between your party and pay without doing the credit card “back and forth” with your waiter.
If you think iBeacon could be of use for your business, or have some favorite iBeacon applications of your own, feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to brainstorm with you.