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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : August 14, 2014

Hi-tech, beacon-driven dummies enter British stores

Hi-tech dummies are gracing the floors and windows of some of the UK's high-end stores. Using beacon technology these mannequins can transmit information about what they're wearing to shoppers' smartphones.

by Helen Leggatt

Mannequins have started to communicate with shoppers. Using beacons concealed about their person, the mannequins are programmed with information by the retailer and that information is then transmitted to shop browsers with enabled smartphones as they pass by.

Details can include the clothes the mannequin is wearing, its accessories and even prices. Links to purchase items direct from the retailer's website can also be transmitted, or an item's location within the store.

Shoppers can also share the information via social, access rewards and offers and save the mannequin's outfit to view at a later date.

The beacon technology used is VMBeacon and has been launched by technology and design company Iconeme.

"A recent Google report revealed that 84% of smartphone shoppers use their devices to help them browse while in a store. The technology we have developed aims to tap into this trend and offers real value to both retailers and consumers." said Jonathan Berlin, co-founder of Iconeme.

"The Internet of Things and beacon technology has been gaining momentum over the last few years but we are yet to see its practical and widespread use in retail outlets. Installing this technology in mannequins ensures it occupies a prime location and an ideal focus-point for shoppers, whether they are in the store itself or just passing by the window," he added.

Stores using the technology include Bentalls in Kingston Upon Thames, Jaeger and Hawes & Curtis in London and House of Fraser in Aberdeen.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: beacon, fashion, in-store experience, mobile marketing, retail, technology

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