iBeacon is a Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 (BLE) technology which transmits a signal up to 100 metres away that can be detected by mobile devices.
From a consumer perspective, users with Bluetooth 4.0 enabled phones can enjoy interactive, personalized and unique experiences by shopping, travelling, etc based on micro-geolocalisation. The principle is simple: context-relevant notifications and targeted promotions are automatically triggered when approaching a beacon.
For brands and retailers, iBeacon opens up new ways to closely interact with customers and prospects, using highly relevant, personalized marketing campaigns to entice them to take action or give feedback.
iBeacon is the trademark term by Apple, but the BLE technology behind it is an open standard. Thus, any BLE compatible Android phones can also interact with iBeacon devices.
Following devices are basically compatible: iOS and Android devices with Bluetooth 4.0 – Android 4.3 devices and newer versions – Windows Phone 8 devices.
As a retailer or brand
Integrating iBeacon in the mobile marketing strategy offers brands and retailers massive opportunities. The technology can be used to enhance and personalize the whole shopping experience
For example, you can target potential customers walking by your shop to drive traffic in-store within your specified iBeacon-enabled zone. You can also use the potential of indoor geolocation to convert visits into purchases by sending targeted offers and m-coupons throughout your customers' in-store journey.
As a consumer
Both the brand and the consumer can benefit from this type of tailored communication. For consumers, iBeacon can be a real-time "best deal" detector while shopping.
For instance, users can get relevant offers and information from stores nearby straight to their smartphone screen, at the right time!
However, Beacons are just another "point of entry" to the mobile web, a new way for users to access your mobile content.It's now up to you to creatively inspire your audience to action using this new technology, with smart valuable marketing campaigns.
NFC and iBeacon are two fundamentally different technologies, that are often wrongly compared with each other.
Basically, they are both offering a way to link the physical to the digital worlds and are both based on contactless technologies: RFID for the first one, Bluetooth for the other. However, the experience provided to consumers are not the same: one is a PULL mechanic, the another actually is pure PUSH marketing.
Visit our page dedicated to NFC to learn more about this technology.