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Beacon Planner lets stores choose the best places to put in-store beacons.
Beacon Planner lets stores choose the best places to put in-store beacons.

Getting lost in big box stores isn’t all that uncommon, but we have the technology to solve that problem: beacons, little boxes that help your phone figure out where it is in stores.

However, a complicated setup process and complex monitoring systems have kept many businesses from adopting the useful, and possibly lucrative, beacon tech.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Point Inside is trying to change that with its new StoreLocation solution, announced today. The two-part tech attempts to make it easier for retailers to implement beacons and monitor how customers interact with them.

Point Inside is powering the map within the Target shopping app.
Point Inside is powering the map within the Target shopping app.

The first part of StoreLocation is Beacon Planner, which lets businesses determine where beacons should be placed. Beacons, which use low-energy Bluetooth, help your phone figure out where it is while indoors.

A retailer can use this to send you coupons, sales alerts or just more information about the products you’re looking at, since they’re so precise.

While individual stores can just throw a few beacons into place, Beacon Planner lets a central management team plan the best locations across a chain of stores. And since beacons let companies know whether customers are reacting to the information the beacons are sending out, Beacon Planner can help them figure out the most effective spots to put them in each store.

Once locations are chosen, Beacon Activator streamlines the setup process. The smartphone-based system activates the beacons and allows teams to quickly move them — say, if an in-store display that the beacon was placed on is moving.

Once beacons are in place, companies can continue to use Beacon Planner to monitor all the data collected. That can help the marketing team figure out if in-store displays are working or help inventory specialists know if they should move products for a better shopping experience.

Since beacons can also be used for sending ads to phones, the ability to quickly see how beacons are being accessed by customers, and easily change their location if needed, makes beacons an attractive option for retailers.

With stores like Target trialing in-store beacons, StoreLocation should make it easier for them to roll out and monitor the system around the country.

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