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Shopping Malls Use Beacons to Send Retailers' Promotional Material to Shoppers

U.S. retail real estate developer Simon is deploying a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon system across the nearly 240 malls and shopping centers that it owns or has an interest in, in order to help merchants connect with their customers based on real-time data regarding each shopper's location at those sites.

The solution is being provided by Mobiquity Technologies' Mobiquity Networks division, which is dedicated to utilizing BLEbeacon, standard Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID and QR technologies to connect companies and the consumers they serve. Simon has already installed Mobiquity's Mobi-Beacon system—consisting of beacons and software—within 75 of its malls, and is further deploying the technology at 165 additional locations.

Simon owns, manages and develops U.S. malls such as Premium Outlets and Mills shopping centers. In 2011, the company began working with Mobiquity Technologies to install a Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-based system to provide promotions to shoppers via their smartphones without requiring them to download an app. With this system, any phone that has Bluetooth turned on receives an opt-in prompt to accept content. If a user selects "yes," the phone receives information, associated with the mall stores, via the Bluetooth "Push Messaging" protocol or a Wi-Fi connection. When Apple released its iBeacon solution using BLE technology, however, Mobiquity Technologies developed the Mobi-Beacon, consisting of beacons manufactured for the company by a third-party, as well as a software developers kit (SDK) for use by merchants with their own apps so that a variety of data could be sent tailored to a particular shopper's location and interests.

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