In the awareness of many decision makers, iBeacon use cases are still limited to the retail sector and in particular to triggering location-relevant content on the customer’s mobile phone via iBeacon. This is understandable, because this easy-to-implement basic function was strongly promoted in the early years of technology. Also because it is easy to explain.
In fact, applications for location-based services based on iBeacon technology have long been found in many other industries. And the applications developed for these sectors in turn stimulate the retail sector. If you let them. Developers and customers must show the courage to be creative and be inspired by iBeacon use cases from other industries. Five years after its introduction as a proprietary standard for localisation in indoor environments, the potential of iBeacon use cases for retail is still far from being fully exploited.
iBeacon use cases include way finding/indoor navigation, proximity marketing, analytics and many more.
Museums and leisure facilities use iBeacons to offer virtual guides. Sports facilities in the USA and Europe – such as the SAP Arena in Mannheim – offer location-based services such as indoor navigation to their visitors. The ability to use iBeacons to track the location and movement data of goods, items and production equipment wherever GPS does not work opens up the market for industry 4.0 for location-based services and opens up the IoT (Internet of Things) to location-based services. Supply chain management is one of the iBeacon use cases in logistics. Many helpful applications for location-based services can still be found in the areas of building management and building control. This is where the global players hidden in the German midmarket, such as Phoenix Contact, are really taking off. The entire Proptech market is electrified by the possibilities of small radio transmitters. The same applies to providers of business intelligence and business analytics applications who want to integrate the data obtained via location-based services directly into their products. The data-driven and personalized out-of-home advertising that can be realized in this way opens up completely new ways of web-to-store campaigns.
A best-of of all mentioned applications in retail combines the given technical possibilities, (end) customer needs and the requirements of the infrastructure operators in terms of optimum performance. With the appropriate experience of the location-based services provider, an iBeacon infrastructure can for example be used simultaneously for marketing measures and building management. But to do this, vendors must have the experience of a wide range of implemented iBeacon use cases. On the other hand, many location-based services providers have developed from their short history – and often under pressure from investors – into specialists for one or two segments and today either have to reorient themselves or look for suitable partners and integrate their know-how and technology – with all the known difficulties that such processes entail. The approach of keeping one’s own hardware and software technology as universally applicable as possible is now proving to be a decisive advantage in this respect. Only companies that have seen themselves as full-service solution providers right from the start will be able to cope with the increasingly complex combined requirements in retail. Because mounting beacons and pushing offers was yesterday.