In Target’s case, the company says that the technology will be used not only to trigger deal alerts like new offers from Cartwheel (its mobile couponing service), but also provide information and recommendations to shoppers, like an alert about what nearby apparel items are trending on Pinterest, for instance.
In a future release, Target will introduce other beacon-powered features, like the ability to re-sort your shopping list as you move through the store – similar to how mapping applications re-route you when you take a different direction. Another upcoming feature will allow shoppers to request help from Target staff right from their phone.
Aha! Something useful!
I’m not a regular shopper, and my goal is typically to get in and out of stores quickly. So maybe there are people who want push notifications when they’re standing near clothes that are trending on Pinterest. I’d rather get notified about Pinterest clothing trends asynchronously, like with a weekly email I can browse at my leisure.
But I would like to be notified if I just walked by something on my shopping list, so I don’t have to waste 10 minutes backtracking through the whole store to get it.