This week Target became the latest retailer to integrate beacon technology into the shopping experience, announcing that it will test using low-energy Bluetooth beacons to deliver coupons and special offers to the mobile devices of shoppers when they’re near the product in question.
Target is currently testing the beacon technology at 50 stores in major markets across the country, including New York City, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. The retail giant plans to limit the number of mobile push notifications sent to each device to two per visit, in order to avoid driving shoppers insane.
Target plans to roll out the beacon technology more broadly later this year, and an Android version is in the works. The retailer is also working on additional features, including a function that automatically re-sorts mobile shopping lists as consumers move through the store, showing which products are closest. Another new function will allow shoppers to use their smartphones to request help from an employee.
This move is just part of a wider mobile push from Target. The retailer also unveiled a mobile app that gives advice on furnishings and decorations for college shoppers, based in part on information drawn from their social media profiles. The “Made For U College Styler” uses a familiar quiz format to determine the user’s tastes, then provides personalized recommendations for dorm room décor.