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Macy's begins iBeacon shopping test, will send alerts to your iPhone when you enter stores

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macy's herald square (from MACY'S)
macy's herald square (from MACY'S)

Your iPhone could soon know when you walk into a Macy's, and start telling you what to look for. Macy's is the first major retailer to roll out support for Apple's new iBeacons, a type of Bluetooth hotspot introduced in the newest version of iOS. Within the "coming weeks," iPhone owners who use the retail app Shopkick will start receiving a notification when they walk into either Macy's Herald Square, New York or Union Square, San Francisco locations. The notification will direct them into Shopkick's app, which can alert them to deals and remind them of products they were interested in that are on sale at the store.

So far the trial is limited — Macy's will only ping your iPhone when you actually enter the store. But down the road, Macy's might also ping shoppers on a department-by-department basis, possibly telling them about sneaker sales when they're in the shoe section, or even recommending nearby products they could have an interest in. The iPhone integration is only a trial for now, but if it can actually get shoppers buying more clothes and goods, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Macy's rolling support out to additional locations.