iBeacon brings home the iBacon on your mobile while you shop

Proximity-based mobile promotions are hitting Australian malls as iBeacons push out offers to your phone while you're walking past the store.

Proximity-based mobile promotions are hitting Australian malls as iBeacons push out offers to your phone while you're walking past the store.

Shoppers can now get discounts straight to their pocket thanks to iBeacon technology.(Credit: DC4G)

Australian retail technology company DC4G is busy rolling out new proximity-based marketing services in 45 shopping centres across Australia, offering customers a new way to get access to discounts while they shop.

DC4G already provides free Wi-Fi hotspots in a number of shopping centres across Australia — now shoppers will be able to access this Wi-Fi to download a 'pass' to their smartphone that gives them discounts specific to the shopping centre they're in. When they walk by iBeacons set up around the shopping centre, a message will trigger on their device notifying them of an offer in a nearby store.

The iBeacons act as a simple transmitter, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to detect nearby devices and communicate offers to them. Once they've downloaded their shopping centre pass, shoppers can then elect to turn off notifications or delete the pass altogether if they no longer wish to receive discount offers.

The technology has already been piloted in Queensland's Mt Ommenay Centre, managed by AMP Capital, and is set to roll out across AMP's remaining network of Australian shopping Centres. Since launching last week, DC4G chief operating officer Robert Ablinger said there had been a strong take-up of the new technology with more than 70 customers redeeming the first discount offer — a two-for-one discount for bacon and egg rolls in one of the cafes in Mt Ommenay Centre.

"That shows people are very tech savvy and jumping onto the idea of the pass," he said.

The iBeacons are also being installed across the Australian network of Colonial First State shopping centres, as well as Westfield shopping centres in Belconnen (ACT), Burwood (NSW), Southland and Doncaster (VIC).

Speaking about the mobile technology, DC4G technical director and CEO George Kaloudis said it offered retailers a way to gain attention with the right customers, and it gave shoppers a convenient way to get discounts that were relevant to them.

"iBeacons can help retailers capitalise on the increasing significance of in-store mobile shopping, by communicating directly with consumers on their mobile devices as they shop," said Kaloudis. "They can alleviate some of the stresses of shopping by serving as a handheld customer service representative that provides relevant information at the very moment it is needed."

About the author

Claire Reilly is CNET's news writer, based in Sydney, Australia. When she's not breaking stories, she's a part-time Simpsons guru, hair metal enthusiast and blue cheese aficionado.


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