Will iBeacon alerts be a welcome way to add value to retail visits or just a new way to spam?

“iBeacon seems to be making a pretty rapid transition into the mainstream, with stores like Apple, Macy’s, American Eagle, inMarket and bars all adopting it – as well as non-retail applications like Major League Baseball parks,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac. “”

“If you’re still not familiar with it, our iBeacon briefing provides the low-down, but the tl;dr summary is that when you walk into a retail store equipped with iBeacons, you’ll be invited to allow alerts to be sent to your iPhone,” Lovejoy writes. “Say yes, and the store will be able to send you messages and invite you to view content based on anything it knows about you and where you are in the store.”

Lovejoy wonders, “The question is: will iBeacon alerts be a welcome way to add value to our visit, or just a new form of spam?”

Read more in the full article here.

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    1. In his brief tenure there, Ron Johnson improved the shopping experience at JC Penney. His board of directors panicked too early and threw him out of a moving car.

      1. To be fair, JCP was already headed downhill pretty fast. JCP was pretty big when I was a kid, but it lost its mojo over the years. It had no clear niche within the department store industry. JCP was not high end like Macy’s. It was not known for low cost like the established discounters. It was unsuccessful in selling itself as a “style” destination. JCP really had no place to go. Ron tried for a no frills value play, but there was little consumer interest in an already crowded retail market. Ron found that it was far more difficult to sell commodity goods than it was to provide retail spaces for Apple products that basically sold themselves. Apple can make a regular person look like a genius. Ron might never have been as great as his reputation indicated.

        1. Yours is the majority opinion. The fact remains that Ron’s plans, approved by the board, were scuttled prematurely. Conclusions may be drawn, but only about skittish investors, not about the wisdom or viability of his approach. We’ll never know for sure.

      2. Well, I found it to be a bit of a mix at JC Penney due to Ron Johnson.

        1) The stores are a FAR better experience than before his brief tenure. The clerks there LOVE the improvements and have been very vocal about it. As a customer I LOVE the improvements as well. It’s JC Penney in the 21st Century, at last.

        2) Johnson had not-a-clue that JC Penney customers LIVE for sales! Remove the sales, remove the customer appeal. I cannot fathom how he missed that. This is NOT NOT NOT an Apple Store. Very poor judgement on his part.

        3) The advertising literature got a big step up in elegance, but again this is NOT NOT NOT Apple! WTF was up with making every damned page WHITE WHITE WHITE to the point of looking the SAME SAME SAME?! Again, very poor judgement on his part.

        The human penchant for what I call ‘Formulas For Living’ is an endless source of FAILure. It’s that same old idiotic ‘KISS Principle’ killing off insight and creativity. It never works, unless you don’t care or you don’t bother to notice.

  1. They have to know that we’ll just turn it off and never turn it on again if they use it for spam. They will find a balance that spams a few and is helpful to more just so that it helps sales enough to justify the few that find it off-putting.

  2. iBeacons should be used to alert people of nearby IT doofuses and fandroids. Avoiding these idiots could save them a lot of stress and potentially thousands of dollars per year.

  3. The headline sums up perfectly my hope and fear for iBeacon.

    Retailers need to realize that if they use it as spam, iPhone customers will turn it off faster than Android phones get orphaned by the next OS update.

  4. Here’s a novel concept: just ask a salesperson what you are looking for…oh, they went out with full service gas stations, never mind. iBeacon will be an incredible annoyance, it will not succeed because people will simply turn it off.

    1. It’s crazy how when you know what you’re doing and don’t really need any help, the sales people are all over your ass.

      Stand there clueless, looking around, with your hands raised in a “what the fuck?” pose, and you’ll die in the sales assistant desert.

  5. Estimote, as an example, does not employ any measures like that. It will be up to developers to consider measures like that. Preferably they will incorporate analytics anonymously.

  6. Email is mostly spam, Twitter is becoming spam, FaceBook is spam in a can, Pinterest is spam in the making, LinkedIn has started spamming and iBeacon will likely be used for spamming us UNLESS Apple sets very good ENFORCED guidelines.

  7. The VERY FIRST iBeacon message I receive will be the VERY LAST… The device itself will be in at least a million pieces on the mall floor. I will be ripping the walls apart trying to find the iBeacon transmitters so I can do to them the same thing I just did to my iDevice.

  8. I look forward to seeing iBeacon’s implementation. I am curious to see how it will be used. It may turn into a bust, but I see enough potential benefits to give it a chance.

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