Singapore shopping mall tests beacon technology

Published: 10:52:29 on the 19th Aug 2014

Author: Ben Sillitoe

Retailer notifications to shoppers' phones in Singapore are being sent using beacon technology Shoppers in a Singapore mall are set for location-based mobile marketing services, as the 313@somerset retail outlet tests beacon technology.

The 313@somerset shopping mall in Singapore is testing beacon technology, as it considers offering shoppers the option of receiving hyper-targeted messages, deals and other content based on their proximity inside the property.

Last week – in partnership with location-based shopping platform Sprooki – the mall invited consumers to participate in test trials which involved short experiential tours around the retail space.

The project was conducted to give 313@somerset an opportunity to understand the viability and experience of Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) beacons, a technology compatible with an estimated 49% of today's smartphone users in Singapore.

Retailers in the fashion, lifestyle and food & beverage categories participated in the tests, which saw beacons installed throughout the mall. The mall's existing mobile app, Tring 313, was also upgraded to be compliant with BLE Beacon technology.

Cheryl Goh, general manager of 313@somerset, said: "The idea of conducting this indoor positioning closed beta group testing with Tring 313 came with the acknowledgement of Singapore's increasingly technology-savvy society and highly digital landscape, where smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices serve as platforms for access to news, social feeds, information, etc.

"In the near future, we want to be able to direct our shoppers to hyper-targeted messages when they shop at 313@somerset, and also custom offers that better complement their purchases. Beacon-based indoor positioning has demonstrated potential in delivering just that."

The trials in Singapore come as three companies in the UK – House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis and Bentalls – became the first retailers to use beacon technology in their store mannequins to communicate with shoppers via their mobile phones.

Designed specifically for visual merchandising, the technology from design and tech firm Iconeme enables customers to receive details via their smartphones about the clothes on display, as well as allowing retailers to engage directly with consumers in-store or nearby.

Customers can download the free Iconeme app for iOS and Android, which they can then use while shopping in one of three participating stores in the UK. More retail outlets are expected to use the technology in the coming months.

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