updated 06:28 pm EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Apple technology will be used by Swirl, Motorola Solutions to deploy in Canadian, US stores
HBC Department Store Group, which owns both the Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay department store chain, has announced it will be using indoor iBeacons leveraging Apple technology, manufactured by Motorola Solutions and powered by software from Swirl Networks across more than 130 of the corporation's stores in Canada and the US. The move follows in the footsteps of Macy's, which did a similar deployment of iBeacons last November in stores in New York City and San Francisco.
Apple's iBeacon technology utilizes a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy to allow manufacturers to create small beacons that are activated when someone with a mobile device that has the store or location's app installed comes near. Currently the tech is used to push notifications to shoppers or visitors who have elected to receive such messages, but could expand to offer payment services directly from the mobile device or offer other sorts of information, ranging from interior maps to airport check-ins to additional information on items as users approach -- the latter a popular option for self-guided museum tours.
Using mobile apps for each chain, the iBeacons HBC deploys will alert users to special offers and additional information on products. It will greet shoppers as they enter the stores, and remind them of any coupons or loyalty points they may have, again on an opt-in basis, reports ZDNet.
Other services that could be provided by the iBeacons include targeted content based on shoppers' location in the store or behavior while visiting. "Beacon technology is the future of retail marketing," said Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Crotty, "and Swirl's platform will assist us to make every visit to Hudson's Bay or Lord & Taylor even more rewarding for our customers."
Swirl noted that this is the first full department store rollout of iBeacon technology, which will begin in Lord & Taylor locations in New York and Massachusetts as well as Canadian locations including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. The chains are committed to installing the iBeacons at all Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay locations over time.