Late last year, Apple begin rolling out iBeacon technology in its retail stores, allowing customers to use the Apple Store app on their iPhone to find more information about the products available. When customers stop at the different product stations, the iBeacon picks up that an iPhone is nearby and sends information directly to it. Customers can also get rewards and other offers through the iBeacon setup in the stores.
On Thursday, Shopkick announced that American Eagle Outfitters will begin rolling out the new iBeacon technology in about 100 of its U.S retail locations. That makes this the biggest apparel store rollout of the technology to date. InMarket has also announced it will be bringing iBeacon to over 200 Safeway and Giant Eagle grocery store locations across the United States.
If iBeacon proves successful in American Eagle, Shopkick will eventually roll out the tech to Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, JCPenney, Old Navy, and a number of other retailers.
iBeacon is excellent for providing a better retail experience, but I think there needs to be a better way of providing customers with information, especially as Apple has it own application and other retailers feel that they need to introduce their own applications.