At this year’s NRF Annual Convention & EXPO in New York City, beacons are gaining even more attention among retailers and mobile apps as a way to re-invent the consumer experience. A particularly unique example is Allrecipes, the world’s largest food-focused social network that provides home cooks access to millions of peer-created recipes, collections, reviews, grocery savings and photos across desktop, tablet and phone.

In addition to serving as an indispensable resource for cooks – 90% of whom use recipes to inform their grocery purchases, Allrecipes offers a valuable end-to-end solution for advertisers, allowing them to connect with these shoppers at multiple points of their shopping journey to shape purchase decisions through high-tailored, highly-targeted native advertising solutions.

Allrecipes is currently piloting Verifone’s in-store beacon system to test beacon-triggered experiences that enhance the in-store grocery shopping experience for Allrecipes app users, and allow participating CPG brands’ to engage consumers as they shop through timely, useful brand-centric moments. At Verifone’s booth, attendees can get a first-hand look at how the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app works with beacons to create a unique, engaging shopping experience.

The Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app contains Verifone’s SDK, which essentially enables beacons at Verifone’s in-store payment terminals to trigger the app.
Here’s what it looks like from the shopper’s perspective:

1. The user downloads the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app to his or her iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.

2. Upon entering a grocery store equipped with Verifone beacon technology, the shopper’s smartphone receives a signal from the beacon via Bluetooth.

3. Next, the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app opens on the consumer’s smartphone, and the beacon network captures the beacon and app ID—enabling the app to deliver recipes based on the individual user and specific grocery store.

4. The user can then purchase the ingredients while they shop in the store using this highly personalized service.

Everyone benefits from what has become a more valuable and dynamic user experience. Allrecipes cooks receive top-rated, locally relevant recipe ideas delivered through a preferred channel at the exact moment they’re seeking meal solutions; advertisers reach consumers during critical micro-moments along the path to purchase through placement of their brands’ products in the recipes’ ingredients lists. And, of course, grocery stores benefit through increased sales and the ability to provide a more engaging consumer experience. Because recipes and corresponding ingredients lists are based on the specific user and grocery store, grocers can elect to have recipes come up that promote special sale items, and they can also use the recipes as opportunities to promote companion items such as wine.

Retailers are piloting Verifone’s beacon system as well. One such pilot, which is also being demoed at Verifone’s booth, opens the retailer’s app on users’ devices as soon as they walk into one of its stores—inviting them to view or redeem loyalty points to make in-store purchases, or apply for the retailer’s branded credit card.

BI Intelligence estimates that nearly 4.5 million beacons will be deployed by 2018. Fortunately, this will be made easier with payment technology innovations such as Verifone Engage, Verifone’s recently unveiled line of in-store payment terminals, which is also being showcased at NRF. These commerce enabled devices will feature built-in beacon technology, increasing retailers’ ability to seamlessly enhance the in-store experience for consumers, while at the same time providing app developers a simple and effective way to leverage Verifone’s extensive global footprint to quickly get their apps to market.