Few years ago I read about iBeacon technology and what opportunities for businesses it could enable. Since then I have waited the solutions but as far only the airliners have utilised some features it offers.
I think everyone has noticed that you can save the boarding pass in your Android and iPhone Wallet App. Usually the pass is location sensitive so that when you are at the airport the boarding pass is visible in your phone’s display for quick use. An alternative triggering method for the passes are iBeacons that broadcast a unique message by using Bluetooth technology to trigger the pass to popup in phone’s display.
Couple years ago I researched Point of Sales systems that would integrate to ecommerce systems as simply and natively as possible. I came up with Ebizmarts POS system which turned to be the most mature solution already then. Ebizmarts POS integrates seamlessly to world’s famous ecommerce solution Magento V1 and V2 Community and Enterprise Editions. With Ebizmarts POS the business can offer unified customer experience at the checkout wether the customer is a online or brick and mortar customer. One product, one customer, one order, one stock, one campaign information for online and in store.
Already then the Ebizmarts POS had iBeacon technology embedded so that the POS acts as an iBeacon transmitter.
If the business issues the store loyalty cards as passes which customer can save to their Android and iPhone Wallet Apps, those passes can be automatically triggered to popup for instance at the cash register. The cashier scans the pass with barcode scanner and gets customer’s information for the sales. If the customer belongs to customer group or segment which entitles customer for special pricing or discount the POS knows that automatically and applies the pricing accordingly.
The cashier can view the purchases and returns the customer has made online and in store. The cashier can see the content of customer’s wishlist if there is one and what customer has left in the online shopping cart without completing the purchase. Lots of points to start conversation with the customer like the cashier would had personally known customer for a long time. As the cashier has all the information in hand with the POS the cashier can answer all the questions the customer might have.
Also all the purchases the customer makes in brick and mortar stores can be found online from customers account at the online store. If there is need for reorder or return it can be simply done online without need to visit the store. Also the store's customer service can see both online and in store purchases if needed.
The store loyalty card can be a discount card at the same time but most probably the businesses want to issue separate discount coupon passes for customers to be stored in their phone’s Wallet App. One more amazing thing with the passes is that the content of the passes can be changed by the merchant. It is virtually instant, automatic and does not require any actions from the customer. So the merchant's discount coupon pass need to be saved only once to phone’s Wallet App and the content of the coupon pass can be updated anytime the merchant needs to. A simple notification is shown at the phone that the content of pass has been updated for customer to review if interested.
No more plastic store loyalty cards sucking all the space in your wallet. A simple and sophisticated virtual Wallet App for loyalty cards and coupons always with you. And not to mention those email discount offers or paper ones. The world has cone digital and so should the Point of Sales and marketing tools go end to end without journey to old school in the middle.