Chocolate shop sweet talks tourists with Bluetooth beacons

Laima shop interior

The largest producer of confectionery in Latvia has installed Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons in its stores in the capital Riga to send information directly to a customer’s smartphone in the default language of their device.

Laima has used Knoq, an iBeacon platform in use in a dozen countries and supplied by multi-lingual solutions provider Acma Holdings.

“Latvia is a multilingual country; you have Latvian language, which is the native language of the country, but you also have a Russian population and a lot of tourists who are very much English-speaking,” Denis Slobodyan, co-founder and director of Acma, explained to NFC World+.

“What you can do is upload the content in, let’s say, English, and you can upload separate content in Latvian and separate content in Russian. Alternatively, you can upload content in just one language and have it automatically adjusted to all the other languages. Imagine you have English as your default language and you go into a German store and the store has information listed in German.

“Our platform detects that your default system is English and actually automatically translates the content so you receive the content in English. For example, if we’re talking about Laima, say there’s a new chocolate they are offering. When passing that particular stand, the customer can receive a promotional video of that chocolate delivered to them in their device’s default language.”

“Our platform is very broad-based and it has wide-ranging capabilities,” Slobodyan continues. “It can deliver anything from information to pictures to videos to actually triggering other mobile phone functions. You reach directly to your audience, you save money by not having to print anything. It’s a green technology, it’s a lot of fun and it’s easy to use across the stores.”

To receive the information, customers need to download the Knoq mobile app, which can also be used to get contextualised information in several other locations across Riga that are also currently using the platform, including libraries, hotels, bars and restaurants.

“We are present in 12 different countries right now,” Slobodyan adds. “We are hoping to be present in several more countries within the next few months. In Riga alone, we have over 400 beacons installed in various locations. We have around 30 or 40 beacons installed in several [Laima] stores.”

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