Carpe BLE'm: Offer Deals to Shoppers with iBeacons

Written by Ed Anderson | Feb 13, 2014 4:30:00 PM

Shelfbucks can make shopping more engaging: iBeacons enable the retail shopper to get offers in a more convenient way. Not intrusively. Not by push. Not by planning your trip by store circular or clipping paper coupons. Not by invading your space while you are driving by the mall. But by opt-in…when your retail customer is ready to buy in her favorite store.


Shelfbucks places iBeacon sensors on shelves where the retail merchant wants to engage the shopper. The retailers’ customer receives the offers by moving her smart phone close to a sensor as depicted in the demonstration photo below. Today, smart phones constitute about 63% of the US shopping population.

How iBeacons work at the shelf


How does it work? Let’s say a shopper is in the aisle that has detergent. Everybody loves a deal. Shelfbucks’ code is embedded in the retailer’s mobile app.

1) The shopper moves her phone (iPhone or Android) close to the Shelfbucks iBeacon sensor(pictured below) on the shelf with the detergent, and Cha-Ching! --three offers appear on her phone for discounts for three different products…this shows an expression of interest for the retailer and the brand.

2) The shopper saves the Tide offer by touching it on her phone. The shopper doesn’t have to move her phone to the iBeacon sensor anymore.

3) The shopper wants to use the offer at the checkout counter and clicks the “use it” button on her phone’s screen…a bar code for the coupon is saved on the phone (in the retailer’s mobile app).

4) The shopper continues to browse in the store and selects 4 other items that have offers. At checkout, the cashier can scan one bar code and capture all five items with a discount coupon in one felled swoop….This is redemption of the coupon.




  1. Higher conversion rates. The retailer today has a one-half of one percent conversion rate for paper coupons. Digital coupons already have a 10% redemption rate. An ancillary benefit is accelerating the growth of downloaded mobile apps among the retailers’ customers.
  2. The retailer can use these sensors for different purposes. We already talked about the first use case that is well known. But retailers can also administer season end markdowns for items that don’t sell in the off-season. In addition, some stores have open box inventory of returned items that cannot be sold as new. These are also easily accommodated with Shelfbucks’ solution.
  3. Brands spend billions today in paper coupons in the US, but get little or no insights…e.g. what price will convert a shopper from a competitor. Dashboards allow this visibility so that brands working with the retail merchant can learn how to optimize promotional uplift with discounts delivered thru coupons.
  4. The retailer and the brand have the opportunity to save costs. There is no freight costs for shipping paper coupons to a chain’s two thousand stores. There is no cost of printing the coupons either. And Shelfbucks real time dashboard allows a retailer to be more agile than their competitors.
  5. The digital coupons can be processed much quicker, yielding shorter times for the retailer to receive cash proceeds from coupon redemption.

Watch our founder, Erik Macmillan at DEMO2013’s event in Santa Clara demonstrate each step of getting offers, picking their favorite and using them live on stage. Here is the YouTube of Erik presenting at the conference.

Can you see the possibilities?