Walking down Carnaby Street yesterday morning, my iPhone buzzed with notification from Lyle & Scott, the fashionable young menswear brand who have a store on the street. I’d not realised at the time, but Lyle & Scott had just announced an iBeacon pilot with iconeme.
I’ve blogged before about why retailers don’t need to rush into iBeacons. The technology works fine. Provided shoppers have downloaded the appropriate app (either the retailer’s own or multi-retailer service such as iconeme) and have their bluetooth switched on, messages can be reliably sent and received.
The real issue is that very few retailers have enough customer insight to generate personalised, contextual, location and time sensitive messages to their clients. Those that don’t, risk quickly losing goodwill on the back of untargeted push notifications.
Lyle & Scott has a lovely shop on Carnaby Street but the iBeacon implementation tries to both encourage footfall and push people to their website at the same time. When you approach within about 15m of the store, here’s the notification you get:
20% off is a good offer but I’d have preferred a more personal call to action such as a free glass of champagne. I was also a bit confused by the request to launch the app. If I’m standing outside the store, there’s little value in having me looking at my phone when maximum focus should be on getting me inside to touch and feel the merchandise.
The typo is a shame and there are a couple of other inaccurate links that let down the experience.
When I opened the app, I was shown the new season merchandise.
You can drill down on a single garment within the iconeme app.
From this page, you can share or forward the item. Alternatively, if you hit the bag icon, you are directed to the appropriate product page on the Lyle & Scott mobile site.
Well, almost the right page.
Some mistake here? I tried with another item.
Here in the iconemen app….
… and now in the Lyle & Scott site. It’s changed colour again.
Once you leave the iBeacon zone, the iconeme app forgets everything and presents a blank screen.
This reinforces the location-centric element of the proposition – if you’re not outside the shop, you can’t see the content – but misses an opportunity to sell to people later in the day; maybe when they are in a more relaxed mood and more open to online shopping.
These snagging issues are easily fixed.
What brands will find much harder, is to develop best practice usage of iBeacon messaging so that shoppers value and welcome each contact. Otherwise, they may simply turn off the bluetooth and opt out.
Working with cross-industry platforms should help retailers get the user experience right first time and I’d be interested to see some learnings from iconeme’s long standing iBeacon pilots at Hawes & Curtis and elsewhere.