SK Planet to roll out Bluetooth beacons to 10,000 stores across Korea

SK Telecom's iBeacon-compatible Wizturn Pebble beacons have a one-year battery life and a range of up to 70 metres
STYLISH: SK Telecom’s iBeacon-compatible Pebble beacons have a one-year battery life

SK Planet has launched a new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) service in Korea that offers customers reward points and benefits directly on their mobile device whenever they enter a participating retail location. The BLE beacon-based solution is expected to be installed in more than 10,000 stores by next month.

“Users of SK Planet’s mobile shopping apps, Syrup and OK Cashbag, can get reward points or benefits when they visit BLE beacon-installed stores,” the company’s Seonil Moon explained to NFC World+. “Syrup and OK Cashbag are SK Planet’s mobile shopping apps with the most number of users in Korea, over 10m and 5m respectively.

Thanks to geofencing, Moon says, users don’t need to turn their Bluetooth on and off as they visit stores. Instead, an ‘auto on/off’ function means that Bluetooth will turn itself on and off as necessary when the customer comes within range of a participating store.

“Our BLE service is well received in market,” Moon continued. “The number of stores that installed BLE beacons is expected to be more than 10,000 by next month as they launch the service with a partnership with Korea’s biggest cosmetic brand, shopping malls, duty-free, cafés and so on.

“Incheon Duty Free shops, one of the biggest duty free shops worldwide, has been providing store news to 1,000 customers everyday through BLE. Also through BLE service, 3,000 users used coupons and got points at a department store in Seoul in a week.”

“We had prepared the BLE service and business before the [Shopkick] acquisition was confirmed,” Moon added.

“For example, we did pilot tests in Korea and US in the second quarter of this year. Although we cannot say that we are currently using Shopkick technology, we started to share lessons learned in market and benchmark successful cases of Shopkick. We are using two types of beacons; these are products of SK Telecom and SK Planet.”

The service follows the company’s roll out of NFC-enabled touchpoints last year that deliver reward points to users of SK Planet’s OK Cashbag loyalty scheme. Since last September, the touchpoints have been installed in over 10,000 stores through partnerships with a variety of brands.

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