By Alex Samuely
November 26, 2014
Miami airport travelers will receive contextual offers from beacons
Miami International Airport is rolling out a new mobile
application that leverages bilingual functionalities, real-time flight tracking
and navigational beacons designed to streamline and personalize travelers
experiences at the facility.
The MIA Airport Official app was created to help the
airport stay ahead in the technological field and provide easy-to-use features
for iPhone and Android users. The Around Me functionality includes a guide to
information about shopping, dining, flights, ground transportation and airport
parking and enables users to see what amenities are within a five-minute walk
of their location.
While I expect airports to begin experimenting with
beacons in targeted scenarios and markets, there are still several limitations
that we need to overcome if we’re going to see widespread deployment, said
Michael Nero, senior consultant at Headspring Systems, Austin, Texas. Beacons have a limited range – most are
limited to 70 meters – so you won’t, for example, see them used to help a
traveler navigate across the airport to their departing gate, but they may be
useful in notifying the traveler when they are near their gate.
Beacon proximity is also always approximate.
airport installed more than 200 beacons created to help travelers navigate the
facility in September. The updated version of the app will enable consumers to
receive information on their mobile devices based on proximity to the beacons.
The beacons will help trigger smartphone notifications
when consumers walk past a store, target repeat customers and send general
advertisements for services and products. Airport officials believe that it
will streamline the entire flying process, especially if a child is traveling
unaccompanied by an adult.
Users will be able to browse relevant information designed to streamline hectic traveling
If parents are concerned about a child arriving at
the gate, a beacon-enabled app could ease their worries and inform them of
their childs location.
The airport also hopes to use beacons in conjunction
with a loyalty program. When an app user lands back on the ground, he or she
can be welcomed to the airport with a free Starbucks coffee or similar item.
More brands should look to leverage beacons with
loyalty programs, but it should not be the first feature rolled out to users,
Mr. Nero said. Brands should focus first on delivering customer service
oriented features that augment the user’s experience, and then provide the
option to opt-in to loyalty programs or receiving deals.
MIA Airport Official apps other features, such as bilingual capability in
English and Spanish, display the airports desire to create an all-encompassing
app for user customization. With real-time flight tracking and a user-friendly
guide to airport information, travelers can feel equipped for streamlined
navigation during the hectic flying process.
In order to see high adoption rates and positive
reactions, the experiences would need to deliver some kind of personal benefit
to the user, Mr. Nero said. For example, if a traveler arrived early to the
gate, it might be useful to show what restaurants, bars or gift shops are
nearby to help them pass the time.
For the short-term, airports should focus on
customer-service oriented experiences to acclimate the end user to the
technology, and then allow them to opt-in to deals over time.
The airport also needs to ensure that its guests find use
for the beacons. With some consumers still worried about privacy issues, Miami
International Airport must display the beacons relevancy and personal value to
It’s all about the experience, said Ben Reubenstein,
president of POSSIBLE Mobile, Denver, Colo. There are two key factors that
drive success here, conversion of users within the airport to app users and the
effectiveness of messaging while using the app.
The airport is an inherently busy place with many
tasks that travelers dread, such as security.
Messaging to users at the right time is key in order to not create
frustration and uninstalls of the application.
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
Article source: http://feeds.mobilemarketer.com/~r/homepage-news/~3/yQFJlT4I4dk/19247.html