Mobile in the Enterprise

Tricking Users Into Downloading Apps to Use iBeacons Will Fail

January 10, 2014

  • Alex Bratton
  • 1

Everyone is talking about iBeacon technology and how it’s going to revolutionize retail and location based services.

The challenge is getting users to download an iBeacon compatible app to take advantage of those features. Without the app, the iBeacon in the store has nothing to talk to.

Unfortunately, most organizations are thinking about iBeacon completely backwards.

They are drooling over the capability to blast yet more advertising crap at shoppers who enter their store. These companies don’t understand that mobility completely flips the messaging paradigm. We need to provide our customers tools and information that help them with what they’re trying to do whether that is finding a product, navigating a store, comparison shopping or checking an account balance.

These tools are the ways that we build relationships directly with that consumer.

The consumer has to want to have the app on their mobile device. If we are trying to trick them into downloading it we’ve already lost and have to admit we’re not providing that consumer any real value. Do not assume that just because you put up a bunch of iBeacons in the store that you’ll be able to magically track all of your shoppers without providing them something useful.

Applying technology to help people live their lives and do their jobs is what I’m most passionate about. It pains me to see companies missing such a large part of the equation. If we give consumers an app they actually need, getting them to download it so they can take advantage of the new offerings iBeacon brings (like fast access to supplemental product information for that big TV system on the store end cap because my phone knows that I’m standing in front of it) will be a snap.