Large French e-tailer venteprivee.com (more than 2.5 million unique daily visitors) has unveiled a few days ago “Le Pass+“ an iBeacon-like technology that offers retailers an opportunity to send information in-store to customers on their smartphones.
The company said it has already “convinced“ 1,500 retail locations to use the system. Shopping malls owned by the Henderson group, French retailer Digital and brands such as Agatha and Izac are among the B2B customers.
venteprivee.com is however not very transparent on whether or not the technology has already started to be deployed.
This proximity sensor system does not come out of the blue because vente-privee already had initiated a mobile-to-store initiative last October with the launch of a mobile app called Le Pass which offers geolocated deals in 860,000 restaurants, retail stores, hotels, etc.
Le Pass was born from a start-up company called Pass VIP which has vente-privee.com as a majority shareholder since last year. The app is slowly making its way in the app stores (although less than 50,000 apps downloaded on Google Play thus far).
Le Pass+ works in conjunction with Le Pass iOS and Android apps on smartphone embedding a Bluetooth 4.0 chipset.
Three types of beacons can be installed in-store or in shopping mall. One is located at the entrance and sends notifications to nearby opt-in customers with special offers corresponding to their preferences set in the app.
Other beacons can be located in specific aisles in-store to notify the customer of special deals or information pertaining to products where the shopper is located.
Finally one beacon is located at the point of sale of the store where the app pops up the loyalty card corresponding to the shop.
"Today, we come to a second phase in the history of e-commerce, where the little “e“Â will disappear to make way for commerce. There is no more opposition between brick-and-mortar stores and online stores,“ explained Jacques-Antoine Granjon, founder and CEO of vente-privee.com.