One of the big debates regarding iBeacons, the tech that allows iOS apps to receive location-aware notifications over Bluetooth LE, is whether or not the experience will become intrusive for users. Imagine having your local grocery store’s app installed. Once the store has installed a few beacons, you could soon find yourself overcome with notifications as you walk around without ever even opening the app. You run the risk of users getting frustrated and potentially avoiding or deleting the app entirely. However, that hasn’t been the case when it comes to the iBeacons installed by inMarket in grocery stores across the country. It tells us app and ad engagement has skyrocketed since rolling out the platform:

“Successful geofencing improves the consumer experience while increasing engagement value for brands. With today’s data release, we now have proof that consumers appreciate this value in a measurable way: They’re more likely to keep apps that use beacon messaging, and they’re more likely to interact with advertised products in-store thanks to beacons,” said Todd Dipaola, CEO of inMarket. “When we launched M2M in January, we set out to improve the shopping experience for brands, retailers and consumers. M2M is the first platform to showcase these exciting improvements at scale.”

The beacons installed by inMarket push notifications to a number of partner apps, like Conde Nast’s Epicurious and Gannet’s Key Ring. Since beginning to send out iBeacon notifications, inMarket says interactions with advertised products increased by 19x. In other words, an almost 20x increase in the number of users interacting with advertised products in these apps all thanks to the location-aware iBeacon notification. Advertisements that would have gone unnoticed in these apps previously become useful info that users are taking advantage of when presented to them at the ideal time. That’s not the only stat. InMarket also tells us that not just ads but app engagement in general is up following its iBeacon roll out. App usage was 16.5x greater for users who received a beacon message vs those who did not.

Another interesting stat that inMarket shared is that users receiving an iBeacon notification are 6.4x more likely to keep an app on their phone. That shows us that customers are finding these iBeacons notifications useful and as a result less users end up deleting the app.

While the experience will vary from retailer to retailer, and it’s still possible some platforms will over-message and drive users away, inMarket says there is a sweet spot and users appreciate the experience: “…people keep shopping apps on their phones and might forget to use them in-store — so the beacon push reminds them “hey, you have this app that saves you time/money/rewards/etc.” and they appreciate that. The reminder wouldn’t be as effective unless the person was in a store, ready to shop. 

There has been quite a bit of iBeacon news this year as retailers, venue owners, and more embrace the Bluetooth LE beacons for beaming customers and visitors location-aware notifications. GE just introduced its new iBeacon-equipped LED lightning fixtures destined for Walmart, for example. Most of the time the retailers are in control of the experience, and that’s why we haven’t see a ton of numbers on how much success these retailers are having with the tech. InMarket’s Mobile to Mortar platform, however, is different in that it sees the company installing iBeacons in various stores across the country and opening the platform to brand and app partners outside of just the venue owner. inMarket is currently in over 200 stores including Safeway and Giant Eagle locations and expanding into new locations in New York, Boston, and Miami. 

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.