We’ve heard quite a lot about iBeacons over the years, but to date they don’t seem to have made much of an impact. We’ve seen adoption from a small number of high-profile brands, such as Condé Nast, Disney, Hudson’s Bay Company and SXSW, but it’s rare to see much sign of iBeacon presence even in major shopping centers in large cities.
Which is odd, when you consider the evidence of their value. One trial, back in 2014, found that they boosted purchase intent by twenty times. Another found a similar increase in product interaction, and found that users were much more likely to keep a retailer app installed if they received iBeacon notifications through it.
But it’s of course a chicken-and-egg problem: retailers are reluctant to invest much in a technology few consumers even know exists, and consumers don’t know about iBeacon technology because hardly anyone’s using it. It’s a particular stretch for small businesses to invest.
There are, though, a few companies aiming to allow even the smallest business, or non-profit, to begin using the technology. We looked at the Beaconic system some 18 months ago, and I’ve been playing with Live Beacon, a system which may be more appealing for reasons I’ll get to shortly …