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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > True Religion to give out Apple Watches to employees

True Religion to give out Apple Watches to employees
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May 6, 2016, 06:38 PM
 
Clothing chain True Religion is implementing an Apple Watch-based program that also leverages another of Apple's technologies -- iBeacons -- to help identify customers who have the TR iOS app on their devices, which can optionally be set to accept updates from an iBeacon when the shopper enters the store. The Watch will let a sales associate know that a customer has arrived through , offering a more personalized level of engagement for shoppers who have agreed to the iBeacon notifications.

Apple's iBeacons are small Bluetooth and NFC hardware transceivers that can detect the presence of a user who has a corresponding app on their iOS device that they've set to receive notifications. In addition to, for example, beaming coupons or special offers to the customer as they enter a store, the iBeacon can notify sales people that the location of the customer. The technology has quietly gone mainstream in many retail outlets, museums (for providing guided tours), sports stadiums (for maps of the facility or game-related coupons).



If the customer wishes, they can opt to have the True Religion app retain a purchase history and limited personal information, like their name so that associates can greet them personally. The goal of the program is to allow associates the freedom to move around the store so that they can help customers better, and if allowed gain knowledge of past sales or returns so as to help make better recommendations. Presently, the program is being piloted in two of the company's flagship stores in New York and Los Angeles.

"The Apple Watch [sales associate] application ... is retail personalization realized," said True Religion executive John Hazen,. "For store associates to be notified via haptic touch on the watch that a customer has entered the store, and then provided with their purchase history in a visual manner, is the 'Holy Grail' of insight and personalization. With this new integration, we hope to empower sales associates with the customer information and tools they need to better serve customers, while elevating the customer experience and converting more sales."
     
Inkling
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May 7, 2016, 08:02 AM
 
I used to work in a museum and this technology makes sense there. It gives me the willies, however, to think that a random salesman in a store chain knows my name, my purchase history, and who knows what else. This is not "retail personalization realized," as is claimed. These chain store salesman aren't my personal friends. They're strangers. It's a corporate Big Brother eying my every move, with the intent—as the close of this article notes— of "converting more sales." That's sales-speak for manipulating us into buying.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
Charles Martin
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May 7, 2016, 05:18 PM
 
Again I have to point out the very prominently mentioned fact in the article that you continue to overlook -- it's all OPT-IN. You have to first, have the app, then agree to allow ANY of this information to be shared.

As I pointed out elsewhere, if you're genuinely concerned about this, you need to unenroll/opt out of any and all loyalty cards, credit cards, any of that kind of stuff (and, you know, get off the Internet): all those things track your purchases, what card you use, how often you're there, all that stuff. This is really no different than a loyalty card or web cookies, which you probably have a number of.

I personally would be unlikely to opt-in to the sharing features of such a thing in most circumstances (maybe an Apple Store), but let's not pretend this is anything new: the one element being added here is that (again, if you opt-in) coupons and specials can be pushed to you as you enter the store. This might actually have some benefits, in fact: it might help put an end to junk mail and spam, because its so much more targeted, volunatary, and thus effective.
Charles Martin
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May 7, 2016, 11:49 PM
 
@Charles Martin: As you have most certainly noticed, readers often only read the headline and perhaps as much as the first line and instantly formulate an opinion. Deep reading and thinking are completely optional.
     
Charles Martin
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May 8, 2016, 02:24 PM
 
I have noticed.

However, we do have lots of readers (and commenters) who offer insightful comments (or typo alerts) because they've read the whole thing: we appreciate and try to cater to those readers.

I get where people less connected to the day-to-day lives of "typical" iPhone users might see iBeacons and the implications thereof as potentially invasive, but I think that comes largely from not realizing how the other systems I've mentioned work. "Privacy" is a concept that isn't completely dead, but must be carefully managed if you intend to be serious about it.

Unlike some sites, we aren't reporting on this to "manufacture outrage," even though that would likely get us more hits -- we prefer to focus on trying to present a fuller picture and occasional analysis to help users understand what's really going on to the extent we can.
Charles Martin
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May 9, 2016, 09:58 AM
 
I guess it's a little frustrating that a bad opt-in idea slowly becomes a standard, invasive opt-out idea over time as its popularity grows.
     
   
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