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Motorola aims to shake up retail by combining Wifi and Beacon platforms

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With 85% of shoppers admitting to having used a mobile phone for shopping purposes while in a store, and 45% of people having redeemed a mobile coupon, Motorola has upped the ante in the beacons debate by rolling out a mobile retail solution that combines wifi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, to allow retailers to engage with consumers in a wider variety of ways when they are in store.

The launch of MPact is, in Moto’s words, designed to shake up retail, by stopping retailers thinking about channels and getting them to engage with consumers in a much more location specific manner. And the technology is currently being trialled by more than 20 big name retailers across the US, with European — including UK – retailers expected to be announced in July.

MPact is designed to let retailers engage with consumers from the moment they walk into the store, using Wifi, right down to pinging them individual offers at aisle level, thanks to BLE beacons. The solution enables grocery and department stores – and other retailers selling a wide variety of products – to identify where customers are located onsite, and to not only enable the display of data relevant to each shopper’s location, such as discounts of goods on that aisle, on that user’s smartphone, but to also allow them to communicate with store personnel directly, by setting up a text, chat or phone communication to ask about products.

The system is also aimed at helping retailers to not only offer a better level of service to their customers, but also to help arm shop floor staff with more information and, eventually, to help manage checkout queues and instigate alternative checkout processes.

The platform also produces a raft of data about customer movements and dwell times around the store, with an accuracy of some one metre with BLE, that can then be fed into MPact’s analytics tools or passed on to existing retailer third party CRM, POS and workforce management platforms.

Hear Motorola outline its view of the future of retail and where MPact fits in in our exclusive interview


“Retail needs to change,” says Mark Thomson, Retail Industry Solutions Director, Europe and Africa, Motorola Solutions. “Retailers need to identify consumers – especially loyal ones – as they enter the store and they need to be aided in their navigation around the store. The customer needs to be able to get help and assistance and queues need to become a thing of the past. All this can be made to happen in store with MPact. It connects retailers and consumers to each other, it enables staff to be more helpful and empowered and it produces so data that can really help the IT department with its strategy.”

“MPact offers three levels of location services: Presence, Zone and Position using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart to pinpoint the exact location of customer devices in relation to the merchandise they are looking at,” says Patrick Groot Nuelend, Head of Product Management, Enterprise Networking & Communication, Europe & Africa, Motorola Solutions. “The combination of wifi and Bluetooth Smart technology gives insight and visibility to a shopper’s journey in the store while eliminating the need for retailers to deploy, integrate and manage two separate technologies.”

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