oo7ml used Ask the Experts™

I can't download the shopkick app as i am not based in the US, but i'm trying to find out how they handle / implement their location based services.

They say that they can communicate with their customers as soon as they walk into a shop via the app. Does anyone know how they accomplish this?

"Customers are rewarded with loyalty points for just stepping into a shop". Correct me if i am wrong but isn't Geo Location limited to about 10-20 metres and what if you are standing beside 3 small shops... does it give you points for all 3 shops because you happen to be close to them all OR do they have some unique way of actually recognising you via the app when you walk into the store.

Thanks in advance to any help that you can give on this...
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They are using the Apple iBeacon technology which uses the new low-power bluetooth hardware in latest iPhones .. so it is NOT GPS or WiFi based but proximity based detection with a sensor


Ah ok, cool... so every shop has to have one of those iBeacons... that would be a costly setup right?
Yes .. every customer access doorway would need one .. plus potentially multiple units inside the store.  

It is very early days yet .. so I've no idea of cost per unit or for a bundle of them.  I'd suggest you contact Apple or enquire about their developer programme if you're seriously interested.
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Yeah i don't think it would suit my needs as all of my shops are low key shops compared to the likes of Macey's etc :-)

Are there any other ways to locate a user when they are close to a shop, as i don't think GPS / WiFi is that accurate... i heard 10-20 metres but i don't think it is?
WiFi is one of the best (in that if people connect to your WiFi network) you have huge control of what they can see, you can have custom splash pages and much more.

GeoLocation is patchy .. it can be as accurate as 1-2 metres but depending on satellite or network coverage may be 10-20-100metres off.  Usually best in large cities, above ground and in open spaces elsewhere such as indoors it can be very poor.

There are geolocation functions built into the new HTML5 standards which allow any website to request the geolocation from within the browser .. works on Safari/Chrome and other HTML5 browsers on iOS and Android and Windows devices if they're GPS enabled


Ok cool, thanks Eoin.

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