SAN FRANCISCO- Maya Mikhailov, co-founder & CMO of Mobile Solutions Platform GPShopper, recently spoke at a retail conference about shoppers using smartphones and Beacons to summon a store employee - an "Uber-like service," she said. Perhaps people can use their phones to request that a store associate carry heavy products to customer's cars in the parking lot.
Unfortunately, most retailers experimenting with Beacons today are not thinking big enough, Mikhailov said.
"Retailers have been dipping multiple toes in the water, but so far there haven't been many compelling consumer interactions other than sending them a coupon," she said.
Part of the problem is culture. Retailers have long divided their operations between online and brick-and-mortar divisions. Integrating the Beacon into stores requires a kind of technical and cultural cooperation that does not come easy to these companies, Mikhailov said.
Many stores have yet to offer free Wi-Fi. And despite the technology's wizardry, Beacons face a steep learning curve.
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