Target Is Using ‘Spy Lights’ To Help Customers Shop More Effectively

Target Beacon Technology and Spy Lights

Target is testing an LED light bulb technology that uses mobile “beacons” to guide customers to relevant products via their cellphones. The program is currently being tested at 100 stores.

The system allows the retail giant to utilize wireless signals that travel between customers’ Android devices and the stores’ LED lights, pinging them with promotions, as well as guiding them to relevant and discounted products.

The idea here is simple. Target helps customers find products they want or might want, and they don’t have to hire more employees to help out on the sales floor.

Target also collects data from customers, allowing them to figure out where to place high-margin items based on customer traffic patterns. As customers walk around Target stores and pass promotional items, the spy light technology can ping them with items for sale in a certain part of the store.

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The expansion to about 100 stores makes this the largest deployment of “spy lights” by any retailer, according to lighting publication Lux.

Target isn’t the only chain to use “spy lights” and other sensor-based technology that can develop predictive analytics for retailers. Kroger gathers real-time data as customers enter the company’s nationwide stores. Kroger’s technology isn’t as data heavy as Target tech, but it has cut wait time at line’s down from four minutes to 30 seconds.

Mobile beacons are starting to collect an increasing amount of data and that could be great news for customers, especially those of us who want to find what we need and leave without much employee interaction.