Target Turns to Bluetooth Beacons for In-Store Mapping

September 25, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

When you’re in an unfamiliar store, or any place really, having a map around can be a welcome aid. But not every place offers its own maps—most don’t, really—and trying to use GPS inside a building is often an invitation to failure. Target, meanwhile, is taking this bull by the horns and launching a slate of Bluetooth sensors designed to give customers an in-store GPS system, letting users find just what they want, right from their mobile device.

The new mapping function is built into Target’s mobile app, and goes farther than just showing a basic map or telling customers which aisle a specific product can be found in. The new app will actually show the shopper’s current location in the store, and provide a route to go to reach the desired target aisle.

That’s not the only upgrade Target stores have been working on, either; recently, it started updating stores with new, energy-efficient lighting systems that focused on LED lighting. It actually picked up light fixtures that had included Bluetooth beacons, which made the idea of an in-store mapping system work all the better for it. Plus, Target can use the beacons as a way to highlight special deals available in store and route those deals to customers.

Target’s been testing Bluetooth beacons for the last couple of years now, reports note, and the earliest tests, now recently concluded, have given Target new insight into the process and new potential measures to take to get the most out of this technology.

This all contributes to customer experience; smart brick-and-mortar stores are eager to provide the best in experiences. Using technology to help smooth out the rough spots of shopping in a store—like finding out just where things are without having to find and ask a random worker who may or may not know themselves—is a great step toward providing that better experience. With online shopping readily available for pretty much anyone to use these days, brick-and-mortar needs to reassert its presence by improving the customer experience.

Target’s move toward better mapping, meanwhile, may help drive some better customer experience. With Target still reeling over the whole gender restroom issue of several months ago, it can use all the help it can get.