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Carrefour pioneers iBeacon technology in Romania, installed in 28 hypermarkets

Apple’s iBeacon technology is starting to become a mainstream platform for retailers to draw customers into stores, and the largest retailer in Europe has announced support for the technology with 28 hypermarkets in Romania receiving a tech boost.

Carrefour, the French multinational retailer, is celebrating 14 years in Romania by launching this new system. The goal is to make shopping easier through a tablet navigation system, alongside flash sales on products the customer is interested in purchasing.

Shoppers at Carrefour’s hypermarkets in Romania will be greeted by a new set of trolleys, featuring a last generation connected Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The tablet will navigate the customer around the stores once they have inputted where they need to go, by communicating with the 600 Onyx Beacon One (opens in new tab) devices that the solution uses.

While walking around the store, the application will automatically realise what aisle the customer is walking down and change the notifications to reflect the products on the shelves. Product information, price and any sales will also be added in notifications.

Even though Carrefour has larger plans for the online system, right now it wants to offer a simplistic experience for customers. As customers become used to the system, Carrefour may add personalised shop lists, price comparison and other features.

Carrefour may be the first retailer in Europe to invest heavily in iBeacon, but it will not be the last. Technology that connects to users on a more personal level is leverage retailers need to keep customers coming back, and bring new customers into the store.

We have already seen with previous surveys that technologies like iBeacon, (opens in new tab) which push notifications to anyone within the proximity, that most consumers accept this practice. Now, retailers need to learn how to turn mobile notifications and retention into increased sales.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.