Mobile Commerce

Lord and Taylor’s Ingenious Beacon Play

Hudson’s Bay and its Lord & Taylor sister chain are the latest retailers to embrace beacon, following Walgreens, among many others.

The July 28 announcement from the HBC Department Store Group—which owns both chains—is that the chains will be using Swirl to coordinate Bluetooth and Apple iBeacon software “to deliver targeted content and offers to consumers based on their specific location and behavior at the store.”

Although using beacons to market to shoppers at specific locations—right by frozen foods or wool blankets—is commonplace today, the promise of Lord & Taylor using specific customer behavior is potentially a new twist. Will it factor in the speed of a shopper’s movements or how long a customer lingers in front of a specific product? Or perhaps note when a shoppers tries on specific shoes or peers closely at box’s label?

“We recognize the appetite for mobile experiences that cater to our customers’ immediate needs and preferences while also providing a seamless and effortless experience,” said Michael Crotty, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor. “Beacon technology is the future of retail marketing.”

One interesting Swirl feature is something designed to prevent competitors—or, for that matter, anyone else planning mischief—from interfering with the marketing broadcasts. The vendor argues that it includes “proprietary encryption protocols to ensure that third parties cannot use or interfere with beacon broadcast information in any way.”

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