Today, Condé Nast’s Epicurious becomes the latest to take advantage of iBeacons in-store by teaming up with inMarket to beam location-based notifications and offers to shoppers in retail environments. I previously wrote about inMarket, an in-store marketing platform that recently started rolling out iBeacons to retailers (mostly grocery stores), when it announced Zatarain’s would become the first consumer packaged goods brand to use the platform. The company was using inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar (M2M) platform to beam notifications and offers directly to shopper’s smartphones when in proximity of one of inMarket’s in-store iBeacons. Today the company is announcing its biggest news yet after recently expanding into New York, Boston, and Miami with the addition of Condé Nast’s Epicurious as the first major app partner to take advantage of the M2M iBeacon platform.
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“Without a robust app ecosystem to interact with consumers, a beacon is just a watch battery attached to a radio. We don’t sell radios. We power a platform that connects brands and shoppers when it matters. We’ve created the world’s largest platform of shoppers in store — regular people who use digital tools as part of real-world shopping — and we’re making the experience even better for them,” said Todd Dipaola, CEO and co-founder of inMarket. “Finding and favoriting recipes is a top use-case for mobile shoppers, and Epicurious has been a market leader for over 15 years. Together, we’ll reach shoppers at critical moments in the path-to-purchase, creating valuable engagements and improving the shopping experience.”
That means when users that have downloaded the Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List app enter a store equipped with one of inMarket’s iBeacons, they can receive notifications, offers and more from advertisers within the M2M platform. Imagine an ingredient— a product from Zatarain’s for example— happens to be on your Epicurious shopping list. With M2M, Epicurious will be able to beam you offers in store as you’re walking down the aisle.
InMarket says the deal with Conde Nast makes it the largest beacon advertising platform in the world with “30 million shoppers having at least one M2M beacon-aware app.” While the functionality is available through the mobile app, Epicurious currently reaches around 22 million users across platforms. Those that download the Epicurious Recipes and Shopping List app will have to opt-in to receive the in-store notifications from inMarket within the app. InMarket has its own CheckPoints rewards app and List Ease shopping list app, but it will also let devs bake the functionality directly into their own apps, much like it’s done with Epicurious.
Apple really got retailers excited about the new Bluetooth technology when it started sending location-based notifications through its own Apple Store app within its retail stores. Many competing platforms have emerged for retail, and others have thought up other uses for beacons at events, in the classroom, museums, and at home. While many retailers have decided to implement their own iBeacon experiences through their own mobile app, inMarket’s M2M platform takes a different approach by allowing various brands within a retail store, and not just the store itself, to take advantage.
Back in January, inMarket announced it was rolling out iBeacons to over 200 stores including Safeway and Giant Eagle locations in San Francisco, Cleveland and Seattle and is currently in the process of expanding in New York, Boston, and Miami. InMarket definitely appears to be ahead of the game when it comes to iBeacons in grocery store environments, and I’d imagine that some of its other big clients– Coca-Cola, Kraft, Levi’s, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble– will soon start their own tests using the M2M iBeacon platform.