Target is adding beacons to its growing list of omnichannel investments. The retailer will test beacon technology in 50 locations throughout the U.S., according to a company blog post. With the technology, Target plans to deliver content such as discount information and product recommendations directly to consumers’ smartphones that are opted in to the service. Although the service is not currently available for Android users, Target expects to unveil it at a date to be determined later.
The technology will be located in stores in the following markets: Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. A nationwide rollout will be completed by Christmas, according to TechCrunch.
In order to receive the beacon alerts, shoppers must download or update to the latest version of the Target iPhone app (version 7.4 or higher) and enable Bluetooth in their phone settings. Then, consumers must opt in to the Target iPhone app to share their location and receive push notifications.
Notifications will be triggered when consumers walk past the beacons, which will be strategically placed throughout each store. As to not overwhelm the consumer, Target plans to only send two notifications to consumers during each shopping trip. The notifications will pop up on the app’s “Target Run” home page, which is designed like a social media newsfeed so the latest content appears on top of the page.
The beacons will not only trigger deal alerts such as new offers from mobile couponing service Cartwheel, but they also will provide alerts on trending items and content. For example, a shopper can receive an alert if nearby apparel items are trending on Pinterest.
“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, President of Target.com and Mobile. “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.”
Target currently is working to develop additional features for future app releases, including the ability for users to re-sort their shopping lists as they move throughout a store. The feature would operate similar to how smartphone maps re-route when a user veers off course, according to the post.