Local tech company, Beaconeye, will be launching a new mobile app that they believe will make waves in the in-store environment.
The app, called Piing, will be one of the first in South Africa to use iBeacon (or indoor proximity system) technology, a new development in retail shopping which allows retailers to engage customers directly through their mobile devices while in-store or nearby, using Bluetooth Smart tech. Once retailers sign up to the technology, it allows them to engage customers as they walk past, and send them welcome messages and offers on products.
The app makes use of gamification elements to encourage customers to participate further with the app and with the retailers. After they have downloaded the free app onto their phones and created a profile, they can immediately start benefitting from tailored discounts and special deals as soon as they enter an iBeacon enabled store – as long as their Bluetooth is on.
They also receive points by simply walking into the store and passing products with beacons connected to them, competing with their friends on the app’s leaderboard.
The Piing technology can also be integrated into existing retailers’ and brands’ apps.
Explaining the investment into the app, Geran De Klerk, partner, at Beaconeye said: “iBeacon technology is brand new, having opened up a whole new level of engament and marketing for retailers. iBeacon enabled stores are on the increase globally, with stores like Macy’s, Target, Best Buy and American Eagle in the US, and House of Fraser in the UK, already making use of the technology.”
“We’ve all used shopping/couponing apps before. That’s good, but it usually isn’t long before the app is either forgotten or just completely deleted from the phone. When the first talk of Beacons came about, it was exciting because now the user doesn’t have to remember they have an app. The app does all the work for you,” he explained.
Piing is looking to be one of the first SA based applications to make use of this technology, allowing local retailers and brands of all sizes to operate in a similar fashion to leading retailers internationally.
The app is currently in QA (test phase), with the first in-store engagement tests on iOS rolling out over the month of September. Android will follow shortly after that, with the developers planning to have it running widely by the December holidays.