Over the past decade brick-and-mortar retailers have come under increasing pressure from online retailers (e-tailers). Shrinking margins, warehousing costs and lack of information on in-store customers put brick and mortar retailers at a disinct disadvantage to e-tail. An old adage “I know 50% of my marketing budget works, I just don’t know which 50%” encompasses the plight of many retailers. Precious marketing dollars spent are “shotgunned” over multiple demographics due to retailers’ lack of detailed knowledge of their customer profile. Retailers also struggle with determining the ROI of their promotional efforts.

Cisco Meraki has developed partnerships with the best location marketing companies to help Brick and Mortar retailers gain similar insights that e-commerce enjoys. Retailers gain valuable information about their customers and are able to develop relationships and communicate with customers at the times that matter; leveling the playing field against e-tailers. 61% of consumers use their mobile device to do in-store research on a product. Cisco Meraki helps enable the mobile device ‘second screen’ as the perfect medium for having a conversation with shoppers. Through shoppers’ mobile devices, retailers equipped with Cisco Meraki WiFi can offer hyper-relevant messaging to customers based on their demographics, shopping patterns, and location.

The competition between brick-and-mortar shops and ecommerce retailers has never been fiercer. And to many observers, leading ecommerce companies like Amazon seem to have the upper hand: according to PwC, online retail sales grew over 10% in 2016, compared to just 1.4% for brick-and-mortar retail. But traditional retailers have a trick up their sleeve: experiential shopping, which turns physical shopping into an engaging experience that no online retailer can come close to emulating.

One of the best ways brick-and-mortar retailers can deliver a personalized, high-impact customer experience is through location analytics technologies. Retailers now have the power to combine Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and the Wi-Fi signals emanating from shoppers’ smartphones to understand customer behavior patterns, like where they are in the store and how long they’ve been there, and shape the shopping experience around these customers’ needs.

Retailers that offer free guest Wi-Fi with BLE-enabled access points can push relevant display ads, notifications, and targeted coupons to customers’ smartphones at the right place and at the right time. For example, if a shopper has been lingering in the lipstick aisle of a beauty store, the retailer can push a “50% off the second lipstick” promotional coupon right to her smartphone, thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion. It’s a win-win: the customer feels like she’s gotten something relevant and valuable, while the retailer can make more sales. Location marketing makes this all possible.

The era of mass advertising has largely given way to more targeted, personalized messaging appropriate for consumers at different stages of their buying journey and with different needs. It’s imperative that retailers adapt to this new reality — that they learn more about their customers in order to specifically tailor messages for their audiences. Location marketing can help by tracking customer behavior both inside and outside the store.

In-store, location-based data can be used to track how often customers visit (and return) to stores, and for how long. Imagine how valuable it would be to know not only when people visit — information that’s available simply through observation — but also why they’re coming back (is a new promotion working?), how often they come back (are these frequent shoppers or sporadic visitors?) and how long they linger inside the store. Once customers connect to the store’s Wi-Fi network, stores can track visitors each time they come back. This information can be linked to loyalty programs to provide even deeper insight into customers’ behavior.

Even when customers aren’t in the store, companies that utilize Facebook login as an authentication tool can get a host of anonymized customer demographic information, such as age, gender, education, workplace, and more. This information can automatically be aggregated and organized to give store owners valuable insight into who their customers are.

 

Cisco Meraki Solution

Brick-and-mortar stores should leverage every resource possible to create personalized, captivating customer experiences. Location analytics can help physical retailers understand their customers, just like their online counterparts, thereby making the physical shopping experience more engaging, high-touch and memorable for the visitor.

All Cisco Meraki access points come with integrated BLE radios. Combined with the location analytics capabilities built into the Meraki dashboard, retailers that deploy Meraki in-store can learn more about their customers and use this knowledge to elevate the shopping experience.

Multi-site analysis and reporting helps retailers measure foot traffic and presence-based user behavior

• Detect presence of visitors via their mobile devices from Meraki’s cloud-managed access points

• Glean analytics from all Wi-Fi devices connected and unconnected

• Optimize customer engagement through new insights into stores

• Take advantage of rich statistics revealing time spent in store, new visitors, and repeat vistors

Use analytics data to make decisions on staffi ng, storefront design, or employee and BYOD policies

Drive customer engagement by integrating with existing customer relationship management (CRM) systems

Bluetooth Beacon use cases

Meraki Wi-Fi access points include a built-in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio with ability to transmit, receive, and locate BLE Beacons. Client devices like smartphones “hear” the BLE Beacon transmitted by a Meraki AP, and an app on the smartphone can respond to a recognized Beacon using Apple’s iBeacon protocol. 

Asset tracking using bluetooth beacons is now possible with the Meraki access points. Enabling BLE scanning on the Meraki dashboard allows the Meraki AP to detect, and geolocate all nearby Bluetooth Low Energy devices. The Meraki access points can locate Bluetooth beacons from all major vendors, wearables like fitness monitors, and even smartphones running a beacon-enabled app. 

Cisco Meraki recently upgraded all of our customers to enable API access to the Bluetooth devices. The Bluetooth devices are available in the same API as Wi-Fi devices allowing API integration for both technologies. This includes the Cisco Meraki access points MR32, MR42, MR52, MR53, and the ruggedized MR72 and MR84.

 

Location Technologies

 

Geo-conquesting. iBeacon. Proximity marketing. The world of location marketing is heavy with jargon and tech terms—but what do they really mean? And more importantly, what do they mean to you? Location marketing is one of the most contextual, personal and powerful strategies a retail marketer can have in his or her toolkit. It’s time to discover how your brand can capitalize on context, relevance and mobile engagement to help drive foot traffic, influence shopping behaviors and ultimately generate more sales.

Location marketing is one of the most contextual, personal and powerful strategies a retail marketer can have in his or her toolkit. It’s time to discover how your brand can capitalize on context, relevance and mobile engagement to help drive foot traffic, influence shopping behaviors and ultimately generate more sales.

It’s a way for brands to leverage the capabilities of the now-ubiquitous mobile device to know more about their customers and reach them more e ectively than ever before, within the context of their daily lives.

Location technologies (GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) built into every smartphone make it possible to understand where a consumer is, has been and is likely to go next. These technologies create location-based data, which can be used to trigger relevant actions, such as messaging or location-specific in-app experiences. Push notifications (also built into smartphones) enable brands to send messages right to the lock screen on an app user’s smartphone or tablet—messages that are hard to ignore.

Location marketing is all about getting the right message to the right person, at the right place and time.

Location marketing is a strategy that leverages the “always-with-you” nature of mobile apps along with the location and notification technologies built into mobile devices to achieve specific marketing goals.

Once a customer downloads your mobile app, the app can request permission to have their device share location-specific information with you. In other words, you can learn where your mobile app users are—whether that’s your store, a competitor location or anywhere that might be relevant to your brand.

On the back end, analytics from this location-specific customer data can provide additional layers of insight. Typical examples include store-visit frequency and dwell time, competitor visits and dwell time and travel patterns within a mall or shopping center.

You can leverage all of this data and analysis to add real-world context to your customer profiles and to develop personalized campaigns delivered to your app users’ smartphone or tablet.

And because the data keeps on owing, your customer understanding keeps on growing—as do the opportunities to optimize your campaigns.

There are multiple ways to use location marketing to achieve your objectives, large and small. Some involve the use of additional devices, such as beacons, to attain more location speci city and thereby more speci c results. Let’s take a look at the primary tactics used by retailers.

“Mobile devices are indeed central to consumers’ lives; the mobile platform is uniquely equipped to provide context- and device-sensitive information and buying opportunities at the moment of need.” – Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, October 2015

Geo-fencing: Simple and effective

The simplest form of location marketing, geo-fencing is a marketing tactic that involves the use of virtual boundaries to trigger messages delivered by a mobile app.

Here’s how it works:

Brand A uses a software mapping tool to define a virtual boundary (a geo-fence) around a physical space, such as its flagship store.

When a Brand A app user crosses that boundary with his or her mobile device, this event triggers a message from Brand A, delivered via push notification.

Geo-fencing is very useful for targeting app users in broad geographic areas, such as cities and neighborhoods. It can also be used to target app users when they are around a specific location such as your brick-and-mortar store, a park, museum, etc. When geo-fencing is used to target app users as they approach the competition, it is known as “geo-conquesting.”

Proximity marketing: Pinpointing your target

Proximity marketing is powered by the nearness of two different location-enabled devices to one another. Most of the time, we’re talking about beacons and smartphones.

Here’s how it works:

Brand B installs small, low-energy beacons throughout its mall/shopping center(s) as well as inside each store

When a Brand B app user crosses within a predefined radius of a beacon, this action triggers a message from Brand B, delivered via push notification.

Beacons are inexpensive and very compact. They can be installed almost anywhere—even on something mobile, like a shopping cart. Different beacons can trigger different notifications, such as a welcome message at the store entrance or a sale message at the dressing room.

Beacons can be used to trigger specific messages in different store departments, for example, near dressing rooms, at store entrances and check-out stations, and much more. Bringing location marketing into the store is critical for retailers, as recent studies indicate that today’s “omnichannel” consumers research and buy online via a variety of channels—and 61% expect to use their phones while shopping in store.

What’s more, beacon technology is forecast to directly influence more than $40 billion of US retail sales in 2016—that’s up to 10x higher than in 2015.3 Looking ahead, McKinsey Global Institute predicts that the use of beacons and other IoT technologies in retail could have an economic impact of $1.2 trillion per year by 2025.4

One-third of consumers who use digital devices to shop say this practice leads them to spend more. These consumers have a 20 percent higher conversion rate than those who don’t use digital devices while shopping.5

One way to look at location marketing is as a customer data-gathering engine. When app users have location services enabled, you can gather all sorts of behavioral and contextual information that can help you understand each user better. The more you understand your app users, the more personalized your engagement can be. And because app users tend to be your most valuable and loyal customers, the opportunity for driving revenue is very strong.

Getting personal in the daily context of customer lives

By combining location insights with your back-end customer information systems, you unlock a deeper understanding of your customer. Additional context sources such as weather, holiday calendars, and the latest local news can help you personalize campaigns even further, making them more relevant and more likely to succeed. And don’t forget to take into account the time of day or day of the week when you plan your campaigns, as it can have a significant impact on their effectiveness.

“When executed appropriately, real-time personalization provides retailers the ability to deliver a better brand experience, which encourages ongoing customer engagement, sustainable loyalty and sales uplift.” –Boston Retail Partners, 2015 BRP Special Report: Loyalty Programs–Rewarding the Customer

A retail mobile app with location-enabled features can identify customers when they enter the store, triggering customized greetings and special offers on their smartphones. According to Boston Retail Partners, 53% of retailers plan to implement this capability within the next five years.

Examples of in-store personalized promotions include:

  • Cross-promoting shoes to an avid runner when she enters the store
  • Reminding loyalty program members to activate their points at the register
  • Offering special discounts on paper plates to app users in the camping gear department
  • Promoting a sale on an item the customer previously purchased online

Personalizing the entire shopping experience

Location data can also be used to personalize sta interactions and turn a shopping excursion into a VIP experience. Staff can be notified as soon as an app user enters the store, for example, so that the customer can be greeted by name and even be guided towards a favorite department or relevant special o er. With back-end integrations, you can even inform sta about items left in an app user’s online shopping cart, so they can help the customer find those items in the store.

47% of shoppers want to receive real-time promotions in-store, but only 7% of retailers send them.6

40% of shoppers want in-store item location and navigation, but only 4% of retailers offer these features.7

Examples of daily context-personalized messages could include:

Sending a sales message to an app user / dog owner as she enters the local dog park

Offering a special discount on kids’ clothes to all app users who are parents, just before a local sales tax holiday weekend

Alerting app users in a specific region about a storm headed their way, paired with a promotional o er for rain gear

Promoting a local 5K your store sponsors to all app users who are tness bu s, within a specific city

Target app users in specific geographic areas with relevant messaging around what’s happening in their world. Build promotions around local events, weather changes, etc.

Trigger messages when an app user visits the competition, sending a compelling message to draw her back to your store.

Build a campaign specifically to greet app users who are within a narrow range of your store, inviting them in with an intriguing offer.

Send a welcome message, provide a personal shopping guide or alert staff of customer presence.

Identifying the right location marketing partner is crucial. In general, look for an app development provider with retail and location marketing experience, as well as in-house expertise. As you begin your search, use this checklist to help clarify your needs.

LOCATION MARKETING STRATEGIES

First, let’s define what we mean when we say location marketing; Location marketing (or location-based marketing) is a strategy that leverages mobile apps along with the location and notification technologies built into mobile devices to achieve specific marketing goals. Now let’s look at the two most common location marketing tactics.

The simplest form of location marketing, geo-fencing is a tactic involving the use of virtual boundaries (“geo-fences”) and software applications to trigger an event. This event may be a message (“Hey Judy! Welcome back to Baybridge Mall! Stop by for special savings.”) or it may be the collection of data (telling the server that an app user has entered a geo-fenced area like a target ZIP code). Geo-conquesting is geo-fencing where the virtual boundary is drawn around a competitor’s location to target specific customers based on strategic criteria. In proximity marketing, an event is triggered by the nearness of two different location-enabled devices (usually beacons and smartphones) to one another. As with geo-fencing, proximity marketing usually involves a message (“Welcome back to Sneaker Shoppe! Loyalty program members get a 10% kickback today!”) It could also be used to alert sta that a VIP customer has entered the store, or simply to collect data on where app users travel in-store or within the mall for a better understanding of shopping patterns that will contribute to operational

In proximity marketing, an event is triggered by the nearness of two different location-enabled devices (usually beacons and smartphones) to one another. As with geo-fencing, proximity marketing usually involves a message (“Welcome back to Sneaker Shoppe! Loyalty program members get a 10% kickback today!”) It could also be used to alert sta that a VIP customer has entered the store, or simply to collect data on where app users travel in-store or within the mall for a better understanding of shopping patterns that will contribute to operational efficiencies.

Note that you must have an app to make the above tactics work—the app is your communication channel.

Industry Use Cases 

Organizations across numerous industries are already taking advantage of the potential of location-aware technologies in native mobile applications. Here’s a snapshot of how some industries are engaging their customers and driving revenue with a branded mobile app:

Financial Services

Large banks have one of the highest app install rates or market penetration into their own customer base. Banking apps reduce banks’ brick & mortar retail costs and increase the long-term value of their customers through cross-selling and improving retention. Despite the success of large banks, smaller banks and credit unions may struggle at increasing the app penetration. All banks despite their apps have long lines and wait times at the peak hours. The mobile apps reduce the long lines and allow customers to step out and complete their transaction in the app, scan a check, withdraw cash from an ATM, apply for a credit card, transfer money, and almost anything that a teller can do.

Airlines & Airports

While all major airlines have a mobile app for booking and check-in, the cutting-edge airports and airlines are building apps to improve and streamline the travel experience beyond the security check-point, inside the airport and luxury lounges. These apps give passengers in-airport mapping and wayfinding, flight tracking, restaurant and shopping information, and more. For passengers, the app will streamline the airport experience, help with navigation and enable real-time promotions. For the airport, it will generate extra revenue, improve customer communications and increase passenger loyalty.

Hospitality

Luxury properties can differentiate themselves from competitors by adding location-aware capabilities to their apps to trigger welcome messages when residents step into the building, spa promotions when they walk into the pool area, yoga invites when they arrive in the gym, etc.

Entertainment Venues

For event producers and franchise owners, keeping fans engaged and committed is crucial to maintaining and growing the business. Location-enabled mobile apps enable venue owners and event producers to create a compelling, satisfying and exciting mobile experience. Fans are able to access schedules and receive location-based notifications about events, use venue maps and turn-by-turn directions for wayfinding, receive beacon-triggered trivia information, access content about their favorite artists and discover newcomers. 

Shopping Malls

For instance, when shoppers approach a new in-store display, an app can trigger pop-up videos, coupons or other information related to the merchandise. A branded app can help retailers achieve business goals like driving in-store traffic, increasing revenue and demonstrating ROI, driving online sales through mobile, and attracting shoppers from competitors. The application helps shoppers locate stores, restaurants, and services with a turn-by-turn wayfinding system and parking spot availability map, and can enable customized location-aware promotions and alerts when visitors walk past specific shops.

Healthcare

Confusing navigation in medical facilities, revenue lost to missed appointments, Medicaid reimbursements tied to patient satisfaction—all of these are significant challenges for hospitals. Healthcare providers, particularly large hospitals and clinic systems, use mobile apps to engage with patients before, during and after each visit to improve the patient experience.

Hospital apps can provide real-time indoor navigation for improved wayfinding in the form of a portable, up-to-date digital guide offering turn-by-turn directions from the parking lot to the exam room to the pharmacy and back. Hospital apps can also provide appointment and prescription reminders, information about follow-up care, 24/7 access to hospital and health information and more. All of this makes patients and caregivers feel more calm, respected and welcome in an environment that can be stressful for many. From the hospital’s perspective, it reduces no-shows, increases patient loyalty and keeps revenue on track.

Location Technologies

Which location tech should you use? That depends on the nature of your organization and the goals you’re trying to accomplish with your app. As a general rule, the best choice is a combination of location-aware technologies, such as beacons and GPS together, for optimal results.

GPS

The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a satellite navigation system that provides location information pretty much anywhere in the world. You can use GPS to
create geo-fences (de ned geographical boundaries within a several-mile radius) so you know when users enter or exit a particular zone and can send appropriate notifications and o ers accordingly.

Geo-fencing and geo-conquesting use mapping software based on the Global Positioning Satellite system, just like the GPS in your car or Google Maps.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi 

MAC Randomization

Bluetooth Beacons

Bluetooth® is wireless technology that exchanges data using radio transmissions between two devices. Low energy Bluetooth (BLE) is an ultra-energy-e client form of Bluetooth that was built to run for long periods on small power sources, such as coin cell batteries. BLE also offers tremendous development flexibility, thanks to built-in interoperability with billions of other devices already on the market.

Beacons are small wireless transmitters that emit a signal recognized by Bluetooth- enabled devices within a very small range—usually a few feet. They are low-cost and easy to deploy almost anywhere, minimize network tra c, and can be precisely targeted to an exact location.

Beacons are inexpensive, very compact devices that can be installed almost anywhere—even on something mobile, like a shopping cart. Beacons emit a low energy Bluetooth (BLE) pulse at a fixed interval, which other devices can “hear” and software can decode to understand where that beacon is or how close the other device is to the beacon.

iBeacon refers to a set of rules (i.e., a protocol) that a beacon manufacturer must follow to ensure a beacon can be “heard” by an iOS (Apple) device. Google Eddystone is a similar protocol for Android devices.

Meraki Beacons

In the Beaconing section (previously named Advertising), customers can now conveniently auto-assign unique beacon ids to nodes. Customers can then obtain these beacon IDs using the Dashboard Devices API to get the beacon id for each node.
The previous settings are still available through the ‘Non-unique‘ mode for the ‘Major/Minor Assignment‘. In this mode, all nodes in the network share the same beacon id.
New networks will have ‘Unique‘ mode enabled by default when advertising is turned on. In this mode, the beacon ids are unique per node in the network.
Unique‘ mode also plays nicely with templates. You can set up the assignment mode on the parent and the nodes will be given beacon Ids that are unique to nodes in networks bound to the template.
Additionally, API endpoints have been added to the Dashboard Networks API for querying and updating bluetooth settings on a network.
Inline image 1
Navigate to ‘Wireless’ > ‘Bluetooth settings’  in networks which have bluetooth-capable nodes.

A beacon id is made up of:

  • (16 byte)  UUID – shared by all beacons in the same org (e.g. Target)
  • (2 byte)    Major – shared by beacons in the same network (e.g. a single store)
  • (2 byte)    Minor – unique to each beacon within the same network
Bluetooth beacons are typically used by applications to serve specialized content to users. Such applications have typically stored a preset list of beacon ids and can deliver targeted advertising/tracking when they identify a nearby bluetooth beacon.

I am setting up beacons inside several art gallery shops that I manage in malls across the US.

  • All my Meraki beacons share a single UUID to distinguish them from beacons owned by other businesses in the mall.
  • All of the Meraki beacons in each of my malls have a unique Major and Minor identifier to distinguish the beacons from each other so I can track which malls have higher Visit Rates
  • Each individual Cisco Meraki MR has one or more AP tags or network tags for locations (austin, chicago, miami), departments (paintings, prints, sculptures, multimedia), and services (framing, commissions, partner_events, classes)

Add Beacons to an App

Dashboard API

Two new Dashboard API calls were added today to return and update Bluetooth settings. They are included in the Python module that can be installed via pip3 install meraki –upgrade, and allows for unique major/minor numbers per AP and network. Note that the unique beacon major and minor is in the devices API.

https://dashboard.meraki.com/api_docs#list-the-devices-in-a-network

Now there are 3 ways you can use this new API:

Unique Beacons CSV Download

Use our new unique beacon ID feature on all APs. Write a script to enable unique beacons on the networks or templates at a store, pull the values from dashboard and output to a CSV file.  Here is the API call to get that data:
https://dashboard.meraki.com/api_docs#list-the-devices-in-a-network
 

Non-unique Beacons CSV Upload

Write a script to pull from a CSV file and put those values in Dashboard with our new API. Here is the API call to configure the network settings:
https://dashboard.meraki.com/api_docs#update-the-bluetoothsettings-for-a-network
 

Beacon Ranging

Based on my understanding, the ask from the customer is iBeacon ranging with the approximate distances “Immediate, Near, Far” as determined by the Apple iOS. Apple recommends not using the RSSI in their documentation. I’m not certain this is as simple to implement on Android devices, but my SE James McKee was able to implement this type of iBeacon ranging in a sample app we published online here:  https://github.com/meraki/help-miles-app
Estimote and RADIUS Networks have done some similar work relying on Apple’s distance measurements as they describe:
Inline image 1

Code Samples

iOS Mobile Apps

Cisco Meraki encourages developers to build apps on the Meraki beacon platform and requires no additional licensing or SDK to build proximity marketing apps. We’ve created three free open source mobile apps for iOS to get you started with your integration.

Help Miles Get Home

https://github.com/meraki/help-miles-app

Version: 1.5 (Updated to support iOS10)

Author Comments: “Help Miles Get Home” Objective-C Example/Demonstration Application

Synopsis: Help Miles Get Home is a simple iOS application that uses the Core Location framework to demonstrate the concepts of Ranging and Region Monitoring with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons.

The purpose of this application is to demonstrate one of the many use cases BLE Beacons can provide i.e. detection of movement of a smart device as its proximity to a configured BLE beacon changes over time. This detection capability can provide the basis for user engagement based on location.

This application relies on the following UUID being configured for operation: E2C56DB5-DFFB-48D2-0001-D0F5A71096E0

Motivation: The application was written to help educate interested people about the power of location based engagement using BLE beacons.

Credits and References:

https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/samplecode/AirLocate/Listings/ReadMe_txt.html

https://developer.apple.com/ibeacon/Getting-Started-with-iBeacon.pdf

https://www.packtpub.com/application-development/learning-ibeacon

Shopping with Miles

Version: 1.5 (Updated to support iOS10)

Author Comments: “Shopping WIth Miles“ Objective-C Example/Demonstration Application

Synopsis: Shopping With Miles is a simple iOS application that uses the Core Location framework to demonstrate the concepts of Ranging and Region Monitoring with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons.

The purpose of this application is to demonstrate one of the many use cases BLE Beacons can provide i.e. deliver proximity based marketing messages to users as their proximity to a configured BLE beacon changes over time. This detection capability can provide the basis for personalised user engagement based on location.

This application relies on the following UUID being configured for operation: E2C56DB5-DFFB-48D2-0002-D0F5A71096E0

Offer UUID Pairs

Offer 1: MAJ:0/MIN:1 Offer 2: MAJ:0/MIN:2
Offer 3: MAJ:0/MIN:3 Offer 4: MAJ:0/MIN:4

Motivation: The application was written to help educate interested people about the power of location based engagement using BLE beacons.

Credits and References:

https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/samplecode/AirLocate/Listings/ReadMe_txt.html

https://developer.apple.com/ibeacon/Getting-Started-with-iBeacon.pdf

https://www.packtpub.com/application-development/learning-ibeacon

Miles The Concierge

Version: 1.4 (adds support for iOS 10+, updated Jabber Guest SDK)

Author Comments: “Miles The Concierge“ Objective-C Example/Demonstration Application

Pre-Requisites: The Jabber Guest SDK for iOS must be integrated into this project before it will correctly function. This is a simple process. You can download the SDK and integration instructions from the URL in credits. Please note SDK version 11.0.0.149 has been tested in this release. Other SDK versions may be met with mixed results. Cisco Spark can also be used as target URI. Please refer: https://developer.ciscospark.com/

Synopsis: Miles The Concierge is a simple iOS application that uses the Core Location and Jabber Guest frameworks to demonstrate the concepts of Ranging and Region Monitoring with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons alongside broader platform integration possibilities.

The purpose of this application is to demonstrate one of the many use cases BLE Beacons can provide i.e. user engagement and notification escalated to application handoff via Cisco collaboration (Jabber Guest video). This detection capability can provide the basis for user engagement based on location.

Users can configure BLE UI notification, collaboration server e.g. Jabber Guest, and SIP URI to call. SIP endpoints can include, Jabber, Cisco Spark, Cisco Spark Rooms, Cisco VoIP handsets, Telepresence Endpoints etc.

Please note, beacon and ranging configuration has been tuned to emphasise use case. Source can be easily updated to meet your needs.

This application relies on the following UUID being configured for operation:

E2C56DB5-DFFB-48D2-0003-D0F5A71096E0

Motivation: The application was written to help educate interested people about the power of location based engagement using BLE beacons.

Credits and References:

https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/samplecode/AirLocate/Listings/ReadMe_txt.html

https://developer.apple.com/ibeacon/Getting-Started-with-iBeacon.pdf

https://developer.cisco.com/site/jabber-guestsdk/documents/guest-ios-dev-guide/

Mobile App Partners

Because mobile app development requires a highly specialized skillset that most organizations’ in-house staff dont’ have, is expensive and time-consuming, and carries some risk, outsourcing your mobile app development to a firm that specializes in it can be a very strategic decision—one that saves you time, hassle and money while yielding a better-quality product. Here are a few advantages of letting someone else handle your mobile app development:

  1. Fixed costs: You can establish requirements for a specific scope and delivery.
  2. Less lag time: An outside team can usually start immediately.
  3. Access to plug-and-play features and modules: Many app features and modules are relatively standard (although they do undergo frequent updates). It’s how you use them that makes the app unique and special. An experienced app development team will have an existing library of these standard products already tested and optimized. There’s no need to build every feature from scratch when you can simply customize a proven solution. This saves time and money while ensuring best app performance.
  4. Greater experience and expertise: Because of their focus on mobility, an outsourced team will be on top of the latest trends and technologies. They can share best practices gained from extensive experience and ensure that your app is in line with your vision and your target audience. A dedicated mobile expert can remove the guesswork and put your company and your app in the best possible situation to succeed.

Phunware has built location-enabled apps for businesses across the industry spectrum, from airports to retail, residential, healthcare, entertainment and more. We offer a modular customer engagement platform, a catalog of pre-built vertical solutions and the services that support them both. If your goal is to breathe new life into an existing app or extend its reach with location-based marketing, Phunware offers plug-and-play technology, scalability and delivery expertise. Contact us today to discuss how location tools can take your app to the next level.

SDK for Mapping and Wayfinding

Phunware’s Location Based Services (LBS) module powers robust Mapping, Navigation and Wayfinding experiences to guide your app users around physical venues via turn-by-turn directions. Blue Dot Indoor Navigation can be optionally added to allow users to see their position and movements on a map in real time, mirroring Apple/Google Maps blue dot experiences.

Phunware’s Location Based Services (LBS) module is driven by the Mapping and Location SDKs, providing application developers with a set of tools to enable the display of indoor venue maps, points of interest, and wayfinding throughout these venues.

Developers can utilize these LBS SDKs to offer app users either:

  • Static wayfinding, where users can interact with a map with highlighted routes and step by step directions, but do not see their actual position or movements reflected on the map
  • Dynamic wayfinding, where users can interact with a map with highlighted routes and step by step directions, including a blue dot that mirrors users’ their actual position and movements.
  • This guide provides the most common Location Based Services use cases important to SDK developers. It is NOT an exhaustive list of the use cases that can be developed using the Phunware

Mapping and Location SDKs.

The APIs and data libraries provided offer a framework and expose the necessary data to offer mapping/wayfinding experiences. In addition, a sample including basic user interface code is provided, which can be used as a starting point by developers. This basic UI can be used as is or customized and enhanced to support specific app use cases and branding needs. For example, additional use cases (not included in this document) that a developer might add to an app include saving a custom POI or sharing a user’s location. These types of customized behaviors are driven by the application code using the data libraries and APIs available through the SDK.

SDK for Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation campaigns are displayed as notifications on the mobile devices of app users, and can appear even when devices are locked. When an user taps the notification, the app home page is displayed by default. If a specific promotion or metadata is configured, then the click will display the promotional content or the page specified by the metadata.

Marketing Automation campaigns with promotions configured through MaaS portal can also appear in a Message Center (in addition to being received as a notification) where users can click to a message detail page. From here, users can click a link to launch a webview displaying the attached HTML promotion.

Broadcast Campaigns (Alerts and Notifications) Geofence Entry/Exit Campaigns Beacon Entry/Exit Campaigns
Reach broad app audiences with messages distributed at specific times. Target messaging to reach audiences when they are in close proximity to your location. Use beacons to target audiences at a more granular level, such as departments, wings or near product displays.
Target specific audience segments with more contextually relevant messages based on user actions or preferences. Use geo-fences to target a location / physical venue level or a wider surrounding areas like a campus, neighborhood, or city. Use beacons to target audiences in the moment when they are in your venues.
Drive and measure foot traffic to physical locations using notification messages to announce events. Target app audiences with hyper-relevant contextual messages as they leave your venues to reward them for stopping by and to encourage return visits.

AND

Drive and measure foot traffic to physical locations using notification messages to announce events.

Enhance your notifications and reward your audiences  with rich HTML promotional content (offers, coupons, specials etc.).

 

The Google beacon platform enables you to manage your beacons remotely, integrate with Google services and help users’ devices to discover content and functionality across Android, native apps and the web. The Google beacon platform allows you to deploy your beacons once and use them many times. Build highly personalized features into your app, share your beacons to collaborate with other developers, or use Nearby Notifications to deliver web or app content, with no prior app install required.

Beacons in your app

Attach information to your beacons using the Beacon Dashboard or Proximity Beacon API. Retrieve beacon information with the Nearby Messages API in Android and iOS.

GET STARTED

Beacons without an app

Nearby Notifications helps users to discover what’s around them, by surfacing location-specific notifications for apps and websites, with no prior app install required.

Beacon Dashboard

The Beacon Dashboard enables you to visualise deployments of large networks and manage attachment content associated with them.

Beacon Tools

Beacon Tools is a mobile app for setting up beacons with the Google beacon platform, including adding place data and attachment data that can be used in your app.

Beacon Codelabs

The beacons codelab takes you through creating Nearby Messages subscriptions so that your app can interact with beacons. This includes both beacons registered to your own project, as well as public beacon networks.

API scripts

Make bulk changes to your beacon network using our open sample scripts.

Meraki Integration

You will want to script to update Google Beacon Registry using their API. Fortunately, Google wrote us an API library in python. Just call use Meraki Dashboard API to get your beacons, convert them from Apple’s iBeacon format to Google’s Advertised ID format.

Converting iBeacons

Also, this will require a script to convert UUID Major Minor to the Google Advertised ID with this function:

Register your Beacons

https://developers.google.com/beacons/proximity/guides
https://developers.google.com/api-client-library/python/apis/proximitybeacon/v1beta1

Customer Stories: Mondelez

Some things are just human nature—like the feeling of elation you get from being surprised. So when Cadbury and Mac’s Convenience Stores teamed up to reward customers for simply logging onto the stores’ Wi-Fi, they knew they had created a promotion that would give them the results they needed. From what appeared to be a simple promotion on the surface, the approach was much more strategic, involving 4 companies each contributing their own area of expertise.

Mondelez International, a global leader in the food and beverage industry, led the initiative through their Shopper Futures program – a series of 90 day pilot projects that bring cutting edge startups and leading retailers together to transform the consumer retail experience. In the words of Sofia Oliveria, Senior Brand Manager at Mondelez International, the program was focused around one main purpose,  “Our goal was to drive penetration with Millenials and find unique and relevant ways to reach them with our products in that moment of purchase for a high impulse category. We were curious to know, how could we effectively grab their attention and then keep them engaged and coming back?”
Mondelez International teamed up with convenience store industry powerhouse, Couche-Tard, who owns Mac’s and sought out state-of-the-art location-based marketing provider, Yelp WiFi. Together, the trifecta uncovered invaluable information about their customers and delivered highly contextual offers and rewards to drive increased traffic and purchases.

Our goal was to drive penetration with Millenials and find unique and relevant ways to reach them with our products in that moment of purchase for a high impulse category. We were curious to know, how could we effectively grab their attention and then keep them engaged and coming back?Sofia Oliveria, Senior Brand Manager

Yelp’s cloud-based Wi-Fi marketing platform, powered by Cisco Meraki access points, allowed the two retail giants to successfully map, analyze, and market to customers, generating a considerable increase in revenue and customer loyalty.

The Deployment and Campaign
Based in San Francisco, Yelp WiFi offers companies a chance to gain exceptional insight into customers and patrons using Wi-Fi. For Couche-Tard and Mondelez International, Yelp chose Cisco Meraki for ease of management and reliability. Yelp’s VP of Partnerships and Business Development, Ryan Freeman, stressed: “When you’re dealing with huge customers, you can’t afford to mess up. The Meraki API is extremely reliable.” After an immersion period where all partners were able to learn more about each other’s strengths and areas of expertise, YelpWiFiretrofitted a select number of locations with Cisco Meraki APs. Because of the clonable Cisco Meraki settings and rapid zero-touch provisioning, the locations were set up and ready to go within just a few days. Yelp WiFi then overlaid their cloud-based Wi-Fi marketing analytics platform to provide a graphical representation of Wi-Fi users in each location. Next came the experimentation…
Throughout a 30-day period, 6 types of offers were distributed to consumers depending on visit frequency. Logging on to the Wi-Fi network at Mac’s would reward visitors immediately and simultaneously serve as an opt-in to future communications with Mac’s new program. Subsequent visits by opted-in customers would be recognized by the Cisco Meraki APs and trigger Yelp WiFi’s marketing platform to deliver additional, personalized rewards and offers to customers’ mobile devices—all without the need for a mobile application.
Signage outside each store advertised the promotion to ensure every customer was aware of the opportunity to score big on snacks. But no true experiment would be valid without a control. The promotion was only offered during the month of January, while December and February acted as baselines. What they discovered proved the incredible value in the dual Meraki-Yelp WiFi deployment.

Results
Over 3,244 customers opted-in to the program during January, demonstrating a massive 81% increase in sign-ins over the prior 30-day period, driven primarily by signage advertising the campaign. Yelp WiFi’s comprehensive dashboard showed that 30% of customers used Facebook, creating a treasure trove of demographic information for the marketing team. With additional information such as age, gender, and visitor frequency, Mac’s received information that could be used to tailor future marketing efforts to their primary audience.
Most significant were the coupon redemption rates and return on the campaign. Approximately 14% of customers who received a coupon, redeemed it. This is a significant t jump from average email coupon redemption rates, which hover between just 2% and 3%. Interestingly, despite the immediate offer of a free candy bar, most coupons were redeemed within three days—meaning most customers were motivated to return for a wholly separate visit to retrieve their reward.
Altogether, customers returned to their local Mac’s 25% more frequently than they had before the campaign. This is marketing at its best: actively causing a measurable change in consumer behavior. A candy bar promotion on its own may not seem revolutionary, but backing it with the power of location and behavioral data amplified results dramatically.

The Future
Focusing strictly on return, Yelp WiFi was able to demonstrate the full impact of this 25% increase in customer loyalty. Assuming an average purchase of $4, across Couche-Tard’s global footprint, this channel has the potential to create millions of dollars in return for a relatively small investment in technology and customer acquisition costs.
Unprecedented in its simplicity and success, the campaign is now a respected example of the collaborative power of Yelp WiFi’s marketing platform, Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi, and the Mac’s and Cadbury brands.

Partner Spotlight: Yelp WiFi

Yelp WiFi is an innovative platform for transforming WiFi into a rich proximity marketing technology, generating clear and measurable ROI. Yelp WiFi’s platform gives businesses the ability to trigger real-time messages, coupons and rewards directly to shoppers’ phones based on their movement patterns within a Meraki powered venue – all without the need for a mobile application. This allows retailers and other venue owners to communicate directly with customers as they engage with the brand, driving increased loyalty and basket size. A strong analytics engine supports these marketing efforts, providing strong insights to help design and measure each campaign.

Customer Story: Lone Star Texas Grill

You can take the boys out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the boys. In ‘86, some good ol’ Texans found themselves hunting for home style cookin’ in Canada…with little success. They knew there was one way to fix that. And that’s how the Lone Star Texas Grill came to be. Bold flavors, warm service, and a fantastic dining experience grew the business overnight, and now Lone Star boasts 24 locations across Canada. Lucky for Lone Star, Cisco Meraki and Cloud4Wi were able to provide the WiFi service, data, and analytics needed to support such a rapidly growing restaurant chain.
The Challenge
When you’re pursuing a passion, you don’t have time to be bogged down manually configuring switches or troubleshooting uplinks. Bob Macey, Lone Star’s senior product manager, understood his priorities, “First and foremost, we’re a restaurant company. We focus on food and service. […] We don’t want to spend a lot maintaining our IT.” This is why Macey and team knew the best solution for them would be cloud-based, easily deployed, quick, and reliable.
The Deployment
Tech revamps often beget tech headaches. But the Meraki cloud networking solution was able to alleviate the tech headaches before they started. No troubleshooting necessary. After a successful deployment in their flagship restaurant, Lone Star was ready to go full-Meraki. According to Macey, “Within two weeks we had rolled out [Meraki] to the rest of our locations”—19 in total. Full wifi coverage, data analytics, and customer info ready to go out of the box.

The analytics were one of the reasons we chose Cisco Meraki. Bob Macey, Senior Product Manager


The Solution
Access points in each of Lone Star’s restaurants are not only providing Internet access for patrons and POS systems, but also tracking valuable data for the business. The Cisco Meraki Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) captures tremendous amounts of customer data. “The analytics were one of the reasons we chose Cisco Meraki,” says Macey, who plans on utilizing the information to create new menus, customize promotions, and interact with guests at a very high touch.
Pairing with Cloud4Wi’s Volare platform made this WiFi solution a no-brainer. Cloud4Wi, a Cisco Meraki technology partner, capitalizes on Meraki products to create an enhanced guest WiFi experience. Their state-of-the-art solution, Volare, allows Lone Star to recognize return customers and personalize the WiFi experience to maximize returns. Using the Meraki location analytics information, Volare pinpoints customer locations in real time. 

Perhaps the most advantageous feature is the ability for Lone Star to count the number of people walking past each restaurant. Volare can determine how many pedestrians are strolling by, or lingering for a few minutes to check out the menu. All without needing visitors to actually connect to the WiFi!
The Benefits
With Meraki and Volare, Lone Star has drastically expanded their social media presence. Cataloguing customers with a captive portal welcome page, Lone Star saw the number of VIP members (frequent customers) spike in the first 90 days. This translates to massive increases in email subscribers, and as a result, more effective and targeted promotions.
The Future
As Lone Star continues to grow, so will the ability to connect and interact with customers in a personal and meaningful way. There’s nowhere but forward with the tandem Meraki–Volare solution; as technology migrates to the cloud, Lone Star will lead marketing efforts in the restaurant and retail space.

Partner Spotlight: Cloud4Wi

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Cloud4Wi offers Volare, the industry’s leading services platform for advanced guest Wi-Fi. With Volare, large retail and restaurant chains, transportation hubs and shopping malls can build their brands by leveraging their existing Wi-Fi networks. Even in high-density environments, businesses are able to provide superior on-site mobile experiences to their customers.

Volare is fully integrated with Cisco Meraki, and can get customers connected quickly and seamlessly through a captivating welcome portal. Rich features include ample customizations, flexible policy management, various login options, and the ability to display entertaining and informative web applications.

By integrating analytics from Cisco Meraki, Volare collects and aggregates the huge sum of data so businesses can get in-depth analysis into who customers are, whether they’re new or returning, where they dwell, and how long they stay. Empowered with this information, businesses can create targeted marketing campaigns, sending personalized messages to customers at exactly the right time and place. This type of personal on-site engagement helps to inspire loyalty and build long-lasting relationships.