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From Home Furnishing Business

Brandsource Has New iBeacon Program

Retail merchandising group Brandsource has announced a new iBeacon initiative designed to help members engage directly with in-store shoppers via their smartphones.

iBeacons are short-range, low-energy Bluetooth transmitters that notify mobile devices when they come within 100 feet of the beacon. The new program is designed to engage customers using the Brandsource app by offering guided in-store assistance including special deals and promotions, timely offers based on purchase history, product video demos and more.

Customers receive information in two ways: through the BrandSource app, which has been downloaded by more than 400,000 consumers; or through the Passbook app, which is featured on all iPhones with iOS6 or newer.

A majority of smartphone owners opt in to receive information through location-based services. A recent survey by Pew Internet & American Life revealed that 74 percent of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older use their phones to get directions or other information based on their current location.

"iBeacon is the talk of the retail industry right now, and for good reason: it gives retailers a tremendous competitive advantage,” said Bob Lawrence, CEO of Brandsource, Tustin, Calif. “We already know that people are using their smartphones while they shop. iBeacon technology can help to engage and guide customers while they’re in-store and ready to make a purchase.”

According to Bob Donaldson, vice president of digital marketing for BrandSource, the new iBeacon program is designed to provide consumers with helpful information about products and services as soon as they enter a store by welcoming them and making them aware of current specials and financing options. As they move to a specific product area within the store, iBeacon can start a video presentation showcasing features and benefits of products on display in that area. BrandSource members can also use iBeacon to train and educate store employees.

“What we’re doing is creating an ecosystem to empower our members and help them market themselves on an ever-changing digital landscape,” said Donaldson. “The flow of data today is fast and often complicated, but iBeacon is easy to implement and extremely affordable. We’re making it easy for our members to reap the rewards and remain competitive.”

Brandsource will roll out the new iBeacon program and offer demos during the 2014 BrandSource Summit & Expo, March 16-19, at the Marriott World Center in Orlando.

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