Location Platform MPact Helps Brands Connect Wi-Fi And Beacon Signals With Eddystone Extension

With Eddystone compatibility, Zebra’s platform can reach new users — even if they don’t have Bluetooth turned on.

In a bid to address marketers’ challenge of reaching in-store shoppers across differing devices, Zebra Technologies has collaborated with Google to make its indoor location platform, MPact, compatible with the search’s giant’s beacon platform, Eddystone.

MPact unifies wi-fi and Bluetooth technology in a bid to improve location-targeting accuracy, allowing marketers to better communicate with consumers at the right time during their visit. But while overlapping data from wi-fi signals and Bluetooth can provide the clearest picture of a consumer’s path, the advantage of MPact is that it doesn’t hinge on a customer’s Bluetooth settings being on; as long as the guest or shopper is connected to wi-fi — a behavior considerably more ingrained in smartphone users — marketers have the opportunity to reach them.

Now, essentially, with Eddystone support, MPact beacons can now provide even more increased access to consumers, letting marketers more seamlessly reach users who have a Chrome browser installed on their Android or iOS device.

“MPact supporting Eddystone enables retailers to engage with shoppers via their mobile phone, inside and outside of their mobile applications,” Sunalini Sankhavaram, director, product manager at MPact, told GeoMarketing. “By taking advantage of the physical web capabilities in the Chrome browser on IOS and Android phones, the Eddystone open format protocol delivers interactions with mobile shoppers, providing them with information on services and offerings available nearby with customized web content available via the Chrome browser. It helps retailers advertise outside of their mobile app, and can also be used to inform shoppers to download the mobile app to get benefits and increase adoption rates.”

Google And Location

This news follows Zebra’s announcement of a successful deployment of MPact and other solutions at a major hotel property in Las Vegas, as well as the news that Lord & Taylor and Macy’s had partnered with the company to create in-store “smart spaces” — suggesting that Zebra wants to be on the forefront of testing location innovation beyond more “traditional” means like geo-fencing or beacon-triggered push notifications.

The timing is also interesting when considered in light of Google’s location advancements announced at Google I/O last month. With updates to Eddystone and the debut of Instant Apps — of which look to prioritize the mobile web over apps, continuing the “proxy war” between Google and Apple over which will reign supreme — Google’s influence on the location marketing space continues to grow. This makes MPact’s decision to enable Eddystone compatibility seem more prudent, and more marketers may seek to be able to communicate with consumers through the technology in the future.

“Retail and hospitality organizations are in constant pursuit of ways to improve customer engagement, prioritizing a high-touch, personalized experience for the shopper by strengthening the relevance and effectiveness of mobile marketing interactions,” said Jill Stelfox, VP and general manager of location solutions at Zebra. “Zebra is an innovation leader in BLE and location technologies. By supporting the Eddystone protocol, the MPact portfolio will help retailers, hoteliers, and restaurateurs increase meaningful interactions with their customers while simultaneously improving privacy and security during the user experience.”

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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.