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Carrefour deploys beacons in its stores in Romania

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Carrefour has just deployed 600 beacons in 28 of its superstores in Romania, to guide customers in store while pushing promotional offers according to their position in the store.

The Facts

Carrefour has just installed 600 beacons made by Onyx Beacon in its 28 Romanian superstores. The beacons will be able to interact with customers’ smartphones that have Carrefour’s mobile app installed or via Samsung tablets fixed to the trolleys available in Romanian superstores.

These beacons will be able to guide customers inside the store according to their shopping list prepared in the mobile application. They will also push offers according to the customer’s position in the store.

The beacons will also provide Carrefour with a large amount of data on customers’ paths through the superstore, the data being collected by means of an indoor positioning system.

For Bogda, Oros, Onyx Beacon CEO, this is just the beginning: “we believe that this deployment is merely the first stage of a major project involving beacons at Carrefour”.


Beacons have been all the rage for nearly 2 years now, even though they have not convinced the world of retail to deploy them on a large scale.

Carrefour here is embarking on what could be the first sizeable deployment of this technology in superstores, if it meets with success…

However, going on what has been said, the benefits for users are still minimal. This is because a user who has Carrefour’s mobile app on his smartphone is in principle already a loyal customer who is very familiar with his usual store. So he does not need the indoor guidance service. Furthermore, if the pushed offers are only determined by the customer’s position in the store rather than being personalized according to the user’s profile, the perceived benefit will again be minimal…

But the above all main obstacle is the number of users who can interact with beacons. Their number is small because several conditions need to be met: having a smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0, a mobile phone contract with data, Bluetooth has to be activated and Carrefour’s mobile app has to be installed… all of which according to certain experts represents 1 to 2% of Carrefour shoppers…

This deployment of beacons follows on from tests run by Carrefour in its store in Lille with LED or WiFi indoor positioning and 55,000 NFC labels installed in the superstore at Villeneuve La Garenne. Even though this may well not prove to be a success for now from the user’s point of view, the data processing will really add value for these devices with a view to finding the ideal “Google Analytics” for the retail outlet.

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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