Using iBeacons in Retail

iBeacons is a technology that is based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).In their Keynote at the word-wide developer conference Apple has mentioned iBeacon. So, it's save to assume that Passbook will probably use iBeacon as a technology for location awareness and not just GPS.

With the current Passbook GPS feature a Passbook pass will show up on the user's lock-screen when they are close to a retailer's location. That's great but can be quite overwhelming if a user has many passes in the Passbook app and the businesses are clustered in the close location.

With iBeacon / BLE the location awareness can be much more accurate. The pass will only come up if the user is really close to the shop. In a busy shopping mall that approach is much more useful for the customer.

So when a customer walk-passes a retail shop it will pop up the pass on the phone's lock-screen.

With PassRocket we will tap into this new location feature.

Here are some things that will be possible.

Customers can see the shop and the offers before they arrive. A customer goes into a shopping mall. The customers will be able to see retailers who are on the PassRocket system right on their phone. With iBeacon PassRocket can extend the retailer's shopping window deep into the shopping mall. This is possible because the PassRocket app will act as an iBeacon and send out information to devices close-by.

Customers can receive specials right on their phone as they walk along. With iBeacon we can guide the user straight to the retailer's store front.

Shopping mall navigation A shopping mall could give out iBeacon devices to all retailers in the mall. These devices can be used to enable in-door navigation that does not require GPS. This way customers could see on a map where the stores are and can easily navigate around. As a nice side-effect each store could send out specials and promotional info the customers in the mall if a customer has selected to receive specials/ads.

In-store navigation A larger store could have iBeacon devices in multiple sections of their store. This way a customer could navigate between departments and find the product they are after.

Outdoor festivals Similar to shopping mall navigation an outdoor event such as a music festival or farmer's market could use iBeacons to let customer's know where to go.

Museums and art galleries A museum could use iBeacon devices in the different sections of the museum. The museum visitor could then easily navigate. The iBeacon devices could even be placed close to the artwork itself. This way the visitor could get close to the artwork and information about the artwork could be send directly to the visitor's phone.

Points of interest So, basically, any point of interest could have an iBeacon device and let user's receive information about he object.

PassRocket and iBeacon Be assured that we are already working on integrating iBeacon into PassRocket. This means that as a PassRocket business your will be able to get one of the most innovative solutions for your retail business.

PassRocket Pass in Apple TV Ad

We are extremely proud that Apple has featured a pass that is manage through PassRocket. The TV ad from Apple is called Brilliant and shows some Passbook passes including a pass of an Australian and Melbourne-based cafe called De Alleyway. They are one of our first PassRocket users and have been featured in local press for their innovative loyalty passes before. The pass of De Alleyway shows up only for a short time. Can you see it?


Digital Marketing and Passbook

Many of our customers do an excellent job in combining digital marketing effort with Passbook. Here are some trends we see how Passbook is used in digital marketing. Facebook and Passbook

Customers who have developed a loyal Facebook community have a great channel to tell their fans about any offers and specials. We can see that posting their PassRocket loyalty cards on Facebook works really well. In fact we can see that businesses who posted their loyalty cards on Facebook have the best uptake and most Passbook users.

Twitter and Passbook

Some of the niche retail businesses who use PassRocket as a loyalty card are very successful on Twitter and have created a large number of followers. For those businesses it is important to create campaigns quickly. They use the PassRocket template store to change the look and feel of a loyalty card based on the campaign they are currently running. A cafe now offering great cupcakes can switch the look and feel of their cards to our popular cupcake theme.

Email campaigns

The good old email campaigns seem to work still very well. Businesses using services like MailChinp to send out newsletters. It's super easy to add a Passbook pass to those emails and a great way to make loyalty cards available to customers.


Realtime marketing - people want to know what's important right now. Sending out a twitter message with the latest offer can be very effective to mobile the followers.

Location based - Passbook is a great tool to bring the business into the user's mind when they are close to the business. The businesses using PassRocket with location-aware passes have a significantly higher conversion rate.

Event based - When a retail campaigns is related to a real-word event then the campaign has an increased relevance for the customer. Getting a discount before or after a spots event needs a quick way to promote the offer. Again, Facebook and Twitter are a good way to attached a Passbook coupon.

Personalised - Some businesses are able to contact their customers individually through social media or good old email. A personalised offer is an effective way to reward influencers (e.g. customers with a high Klout score) and get then talking about the business.

Conclusion Passbook and social media go really well together. With PassBook we enable any business to add Passbook to their digital marketing approach.

Based on the successful integration of Passbook and social media with our PassRocket solution we have decided to create a partner program. We now offer a partner program for digital agencies and integrators who want to do more with Passbook. Get on it today.