Monday, December 22, 2014

Apple iBeacons Find Their Way Into McDonald's

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Quoted from Forbes:

iBeacons are small, low-power Bluetooth devices, licensed by Apple, that stick to walls or sit on objects and interact with iPhones and iPads.  One of their main uses so far has been to help retailers and other merchants establish greater intimacy with customers who are willing to identify themselves in a store.  iBeacons are a marquee example of the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT).
Ever since iBeacon made its debut on the iPhone in 2013, it’s been heralded as the next big thing for retailers. Using the Bluetooth low energy radio on your smartphone, iBeacon technology can track your location within a few feet of where you are and push you special deals and advertisements onto your phone as you pass by stores. But so far, we’ve yet to see much uptake with retailers.
It looks like McDonald's is taking the plunge. 26 McDonald’s franchises in Columbus, Georgia have been testing out the technology with its customers. In a four week trial, these fast food joints have been pushing special deals for McChicken Sandwiches and 10-piece Chicken McNuggets. The promotions pushed McChicken Sandwich sales up 8 percent and Chicken McNuggets up 7.5 percent.
“In the fast food world, these are big numbers,” said Robert Hanczor, the CEO of San Diego-based iBeacon startup Piper, which made the app for McDonald’s to send the promotions. “They saw significant statistical change in consumer behavior.”
Based on these initial results, Piper is working on rolling out iBeacon programs to other McDonald’s franchises in the southeast for an additional 263 retail locations.
“Consumers won’t know these small radio devices are responsibly for the content they’re receiving,” said Hanczor, “but they’ll appreciate retailers are connecting with them with relevant information they can act upon.”

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