Apple's iBeacon technology is making its way into 100 American Eagle and Aerie stores as part of Shopkick's latest trial. iBeacon allows for the creation of simple transmitters that can communicate with a smartphone — often to tell that phone where it is — and Shopkick has been moving aggressively to get its branded beacons into retail stores so that it can automatically notify shoppers of deals and product suggestions when they walk in the door. It would be a huge improvement for Shopkick, which currently relies on users opening up the app when they're in a store to view deals.
For now, Shopkick users who walk into one of the 100 American Eagle stores when the trial goes live next month will only receive a notification at the door. But Shopkick eventually wants to have beacons placed all around the store, telling customers about deals on coats when they're near outerwear, or T-shirts when they're looking at tops, or other department-level recommendations. It's the same plan that Shopkick is trying out in Macy's, though the trial there is limited to just two stores. Getting American Eagle on board pushes Shopkick's plans much further along — now it just needs to get into each department, letting it do a lot more than a simple check-in ever could.