A Look At The iBeacon Store Of The Future With Retail Startup Thirdshelf

At this year’s Dx3 digital business expo, Montreal-based Thirdshelf had a fully functional demonstration retail store with iBeacon proximity based shopper customization in place. The demo store makes real a lot of what you may have heard about the potential of this tech, using Thirdshelf’s whitelabel in-store app and Estimote’s Bluetooth LE-powered hardware beacons.

Thirdshelf’s SaaS solution is working with LXR&Co, a high-end boutique retailer, as well as Lightspeed, a POS software provider also based out of Montreal, and Ottawa-based Shopify for the ecommerce piece. The store features Estimote hardware peppered throughout a mock store layout, which communicates with a user’s own device when they approach to customize iPad-based customer facing software displays, and provide information about in-store shoppers in real-time to a customer service dashboard.

“When a customer walks up, they can choose to browse in personalized mode, in which your wish list and recommendations follow you around,” explained Thirdshelf CEO Antoine Azar. “The salespeople also have a view of what’s going on, so they can get a feel for how many customers are in store, broken down by loyalty level. And, I can drill down and look at each shopper individually and check out their wish list, recommendations and profile.”

[gallery ids="968126,968125,968124,968123,968122,968121,968120,968119"]

It’s integrated with a storefront’s POS software, too, so transaction information and purchase history can be tied to accounts and used to populate and inform recommendations. The consumer app’s design and specific features can be customized by individual retailers to take on branding particular to that store or chain. Thirdshelf is targeting small- and medium-sized businesses so far, and says it aims to focus on that market for the time being, but eventually there’s a big opportunity to sell this kind of solution to large retailers, too.

Azar says that Thirdshelf also offers up a chance to get meaningful data around shopper habits and store layouts to SMBs, as well as to help them partner up to offer better loyalty incentives to their customers through programs that extend beyond single storefronts.

The project is in beta currently, and pricing is still being worked out, but eventually it’ll be a monthly fee based on volume of business driven through the store. Thirdshelf is bootstrapped by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, and hopes to expand its beta project considerably over the next few months.