The Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street, is introducing an iPhone app that will be available to download from the end of the month. It will push communications to shoppers as they walk down the street, including discounts, in-store promotions and information on exclusive events and products.
So far around 100 stores have been fitted with the technology, although every shop along the street is expected to install beacons. The initiative will be promoted via street signage, notifications on local buses and flyers at store events, as well as through online and social media campaigns.
The app, created by US agency autoGraph, allows users to indicate their shopping habits by swiping up or down (to indicate likes and dislikes) on a series of 40 well-known brands. The app will then build up a customer profile to determine which brands they see marketing messages from.
Paul Lorraine, UK general manager of Longchamp, says: “Success in retail in the 21st century is strongly linked to how you engage your customers in store and online. Regent Street already has a reputation as being the place to be for brands like ours and the new mobile app will bring the digital and physical together, providing an exciting new way for us to speak to our customers.”
A number of retailers including Waitrose, Eat and Tesco are actively testing Beacons, which use Bluetooth technology to target shoppers at a closer range than is possible with technologies such as GPS. However, most brands have held back on a full launch over concerns about how to use the data given the privacy implications.