Darren

iBeacons & shopping

Retail stores need to be more innovative

Here at the Gourmet Pixel studio we are big fans of retailer Waitrose, however we had always found their app to be not quite what we would expect from such an established and premium retailer. The main thing most people would expect it to do (order your shopping) – you couldn’t, it was mainly for recipes.

Upon seeing that there was an update available for iOS recently we were pleased to see that they have remedied this by now allowing you to get on and do your shopping. However, the actual execution of this in terms of the app design and UX was yet again a bit of a disappointment. It appears to be a native app simply wrapping the mobile version of their current website.
“It can (and should), be SO much better” we thought. It led us to mocking up a concept showing how we think the app could have been better in terms of design, UX. The concept also uses some great tech like iBeacons to create an “in-store” mode for the app.

What are iBeacons?

Martin Shellaker explains it very simply in his article from the Guardian website:

iBeacons are small and relatively low cost, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) devices that can literally be placed anywhere because they have a self-contained power source that means they can run for up to two years.

When a smartphone comes into range, the beacon's signal triggers content from either a local database or cloud-based storage. The smartphone user will see a notification on their home screen saying a discount, reward incentive or contextual suggestion is near by - even if the phone is locked.

Lots of businesses are starting to make use of iBeacons and we feel that retailers such as Waitrose should lead the way with such tech, offering their customers a better experience. We would love to see this tech implemented not only at supermarkets but other places like B&Q, IKEA, M&S and more. The potential is huge!

If you are interested in working with us to develop such iBeacon technology, or mobile app development in general then please do get in touch with the team!