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American jeweller’s shops Alex and Ani bank on the iBeacon

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Many American chains are testing indoor positioning technology using the iBeacon (Bluetooth low energy), like Macy’s or Safeway, but it is the Alex and Ani chain of jeweller’s shops that has taken the plunge by fully deploying the iBeacon in its shops.

The Facts

The Alex and Ani jeweller’s shops are going to deploy the iBeacon in all their 40 stores across the United States. This will be done in partnership with the mobile app Swirl, which brands itself as a “personal shopping assistant” dedicated to fashion and a provider of good geo-referenced deals. Swirl is an in-store footfall generator the content of which changes according to what stores are visited.
Swirl has developed a marketing platform specifically for the use of iBeacons in stores. Swirl supplies beacons for installation in sales outlets and also a platform for controlling and managing their use.
According to Ryan Bonifacino, Alex and Ani’s VP of digital strategy, the aim is to be able to engage in a marketing relationship with its visitors in jeweller’s shops but also to collect data on their in-store behaviour in order to streamline merchandising and the location of products.
The initial results are promising, as 75% of the first users read the notifications transmitted by Swirl via iBeacon and nearly 25% of them also saved a discount on a future purchase. On average, people geo-referenced by iBeacon stay longer in the shop and browse longer in the chain store’s content pushed by Swirl.


Alex and Ani’s approach is surely a sign of how geofencing will revolutionize bricks-and-mortar retailing.

Like the web with its cookies, the iBeacon and more generally all tracking technologies help retail chains improve their customer knowledge in order to streamline merchandising and the customer experience and personalize the customer relationship.

The content, accessible on the retailer’s mobile app, adapts according to its position in the retail outlet and thus according to the products it views. The mobile will be transformed into a genuine digital sales assistant and provide backup for the teams in the field.

With the deployment of geofencing, the era of ambient retail and predictive marketing will finally begin!

As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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