Skip to main content

Apple’s iBeacon alerts land in grocery stores via inMarket

apple ibeacon grocery stores inmarket
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple’s location-sensing iBeacon technology appears to be of growing interest to retailers and app developers, with mobile shopping startup inMarket the latest company to announce it’s making use of the tech.

Initially partnering with supermarkets Safeway and Giant Eagle, inMarket’s iBeacon Mobile to Mortar platform sends out a variety of information to iPhone-owning store visitors, so long as they’ve opted in to use the service via one of its compatible apps, such as CheckPoints.

By enabling the service, shoppers can expect to receive notifications to their Apple handset such as discount coupons, loyalty rewards, and reminders about what to pick up.

“Besides Apple themselves, we are the first to take this groundbreaking technology out of beta tests and into consumers’ lives throughout the heartland of the US,” Todd Dipaola, CEO and co-founder of inMarket, said in a release.

iBeacon, which was unveiled by Apple last year as part of its iOS 7 launch, is widely described as a “micro-location” technology that uses Bluetooth LE to connect iPhones running iOS 7 with small transmitters placed around a store.

Offering greater accuracy than GPS, iBeacon can push messages to users of compatible apps when they reach particular locations inside a store, so a reminder to pick up milk could be sent when you arrive at the dairy section, or a discount coupon could be offered for a particular brand of cakes when you pass by the in-store bakery.

InMarket’s new feature for iPhone users has been available in dozens of Safeway and Giant Eagle stores in Seattle, San Francisco, and Cleveland since Monday, the AP reported this week. However, the mobile shopping startup has plans to expand the service fast, rolling it out to another 150 grocery stores in the next few weeks and thousands more stores of all kinds by the end of this year.

In November, Macy’s became the first store to test out the tech – in partnership with shopping-app company Shopkick – and more recently Apple itself started using iBeacon at all 254 of its US stores, offering visitors timely and relevant information on various products, events, and offers.

It’s still too early to say whether the technology is popular with shoppers, though once it becomes more widely available it’ll certainly be interesting to see just how many smartphone users stick with the service after giving it a try.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
WhatsApp now lets you send self-destructing voice messages
WhatsApp logo on a phone.

If you’re on WhatsApp and regularly make use of the view once feature for photo and video messages, then you might be interested to learn that the feature has now been expanded to voice messages.

WhatsApp’s view once feature does what it says, deleting a message after it’s been viewed a single time. It’s been available for photos and videos since 2021, but now you can also send voice messages that can only be played once before they, too, disappear from the app.

Read more
Does the OnePlus 12 have a headphone jack?
OnePlus 12 in green and white.

OnePlus has been a popular choice for people seeking high-quality, affordable smartphones. With the launch of its latest offering, the OnePlus 12, it's time for OnePlus fans to pay close attention. While the device has only been launched in China so far, fans across the globe are eagerly waiting for its release in their respective countries.

For those who rely on wired headphones or earbuds, the presence of a headphone jack is a crucial factor in their decision to purchase a new device. While some manufacturers have done away with the jack, others have opted for alternative solutions like USB-C or wireless options.

Read more
2023 was the best year for Google Pixel devices yet
A person holding the Google Pixel 8.

Almost all of Google’s Pixel device releases in 2023 have been winners, making this the best year for Pixel yet.

Don’t believe me? It's true! Here’s what Google has done with its mobile hardware and software over the past months that allows me to make such a bold claim.
This isn't about the Pixel 7 series

Read more