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GameStop will pilot geo-fencing and beacons in 36 stores in Q2

January 14, 2015 11:36 AM
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Gamers in Texas who visit GameStop shops will have something new to play with this spring. GameStop Corp., the specialty retailer of video games and consumer electronics, says it will begin using geo-fencing technology and beacons to reach customers nearby or in GameStop stores on their smartphones.

Consumers who are members of the retail chain’s PowerUp loyalty program —which has 40 million members—and who have that program’s app on their mobile phone can opt in to receive push messages when they are within the vicinity of a store. Once they are in the store, the app, communicated to by an in-store beacon, displays a greeting and relevant messaging. Beacons are small pieces of hardware retailers can place just about anywhere that pinpoint the location of a consumer’s smartphone inside a physical store via Bluetooth Low Energy wireless networking technology. That allows a retailer to send mobile offers and provide information based on the shopper’s location.

Consumers will also be able to interact with what the retailer is calling “hot spots” throughout the store. The hot spots are powered by beacon hardware from Qualcomm Labs running Microsoft Corp. and Shelfbucks-based programming, says Charlie Larkin, senior director of GameStop Technology Institute, the technology lab arm of GameStop.

The beacons will push to the app content like reviews and trailers for selected games. Viewers can then, with a flick of their finger, direct the trailer to play on one of the larger in-store TV screens. Larkin demonstrated how the technology will work at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention in New York this week.

Larkin says GameStop will begin piloting the geo-fencing and beacon technology in 36 shops in central Texas, most in and around Austin, starting in the second quarter.

GameStop has 6,600 stores in 14 countries. It is No. 54 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.
 

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