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WH Smith, Nandos and Vue Cinema among brands to use Beacons technology in shopping centre first

WH Smith, Nandos, Vue Cinemas, Disney and a plethora of other retailers have all adopted Beacons technology which is being used in what is claimed to be a UK first at The Swan Centre in Eastleigh.

The Beacon technology enables retailers to acknowledge customers' presence and deliver targeted ads.

Working with technology start-up TagPoints, this has been incorporated into the Swan Centre's ‘SmartRewards’ app meaning that shoppers within the vicinity of a beacon who have downloaded the app can receive discount offers from retailers direct to their phone.

To encourage customers use, those entering the centre will be encouraged to download the app to receive 10 points to their loyalty account.

As more Beacons are installed throughout the centre, they will receive more retailer-specific promotions.

However, The Swan said that the frequency and targeting of these messages with be carefully controlled to ensure no single customer is bombarded.

“There’s a real buzz within the retail industry about the potential of location-based technology to help engage with and market services to the public,” explained Mark Robinson, investment director at Ellandi, owner of the Swan Centre.

"It offers them the ability to connect with motivated customers and deliver filtered offers and discounts – based location and proximity – directly to their mobile phones. Our merchants are now able to communicate directly with customers and positively influence their spending patterns without having to lift a finger.”

It has also said that the Beacons can be used for non-promotional activity like way-finding and customer service.