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Iconeme Launches Bluetooth Beacon Solution for Mannequins

The VMBeacon system includes beacons and a smartphone app that enables shoppers to learn more about a garment on display in a store or window, and to purchase that product online—even if the store is closed.
By Claire Swedberg

The solution, developed over the course of the past year, became available last month. The company is currently in discussions with multiple retailers about the possibility of providing the beacon data to customers at their stores.

"The technology allows retailers to engage customers with a new digital experience when shopping in, or passing by, a store," Berlin explains. When the store is closed, he adds, "The shop window becomes a constant interactive selling point."

Iconeme's Jonathan Berlin
When it comes to data linked to each beacon's ID, Berlin says, the retailer "can choose what information is made available, and also has access to analytic reports to gain customer insight and help increase sales."

For example, the VMBeacon server not only sends promotional information to shoppers' phones, but also collects data indicating how often transmissions are received by phones, when this occurs and from which mannequins, thereby enabling the store to better understand consumer interest. If shoppers provide personal information, such as their age and gender, to the Iconeme phone app, that data can also be used to provide a profile of the demographics interested in specific products, as well as determine whether a subsequent purchase was made online.

After purchasing Iconeme's beacons to install in their own mannequins, or purchasing Universal Display's RFID-enabled mannequins, retailers would pay a monthly fee for the VMBeacon service, Berlin says. "Fashion retailers are the primary target," he states, "and key markets are Europe and the USA, to begin with."

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