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Checkpoint Systems reports momentum building for RFID ••• U.S. Navy successfully demos RFID inventory application offshore ••• Steamboat, Winter Park resorts installing RFID technology ••• Target tests beacons at 50 stores ••• Indian Water Park implements RFID-enabled solution ••• Bluetooth beacon shipments to break 400 million units in 2020.
By Beth Bacheldor

Target Tests Beacons at 50 Stores

Big box retailer Target has announced that it is now testing Bluetooth beacon technology at 50 of its stores across the United States. The beacons will work with the retailer's Target iPhone app (version 7.4 or higher) to deliver timely deals and recommendations on nearby products and more, according to the retailer.

The Target app's notification-enabled screen
To take advantage of the beacon technology, the retailer explains, shoppers will need to download the latest version of the Target iPhone app and enable Bluetooth in the phone's settings. When visiting one of the 50 test stores—located in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle—a customer will be prompted to opt in to share location data and receive push notifications.

In an announcement posted on its corporate website, Target reports that it will limit the number of pop-ups that customers receive via the app to two per shopping trip, and that it will make sure the alerts and in-app updates provide compelling content and offers.

"We're excited to start using beacon technology to offer real-time, relevant content and services that can help make shopping at Target easier and more fun," said Jason Goldberger, the president of Target.com and Mobile, in the announcement. "This is another way Target is bridging mobile and stores, and using digital to enhance the in-store shopping experience. We look forward to seeing how our guests respond to what we've built."

In addition, the retailer said it is already working to develop additional features for future release, including the ability to dynamically re-sort a shopping list as a customer moves through the store, similar to how a smartphone map reroutes when a user veers off-course. Target also plans to launch a service in its app that allows a customer to request a store team member's assistance directly from the phone.

Based on the results and guest feedback that Target receives from the 50-store test, the retailer reports that it will continue to enhance and adapt the service, including adding support for Android devices. The company also plans to expand the service to more stores later this year.

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