The key to the future of retail is data. Online, Amazon has used shopper data to masterful effect, driving incremental sales with targeted recommendations and offers. Beacons will help chain retailers do the same kind of things offline and in-store. That’s the main reason that beacons are the most important in-store technology since mobile credit card readers.
- Retailers would like to use more mobile marketing tactics: 62% of retailers would like to use mobile marketing within five years. Beacons can help trigger notifications and offers in retail apps, and target shoppers once they are in relevant areas of stores.
- Retailers would like to collect real-time data from store registers: Only 16% do so today. Beacons can help nudge shoppers to open retailer apps or shopping apps. Once the apps are open in-store, beacon systems can help retailers connect the dots, including shopper information, purchase data, and spending history. Customers are asked to opt in to such programs.
- Retailers would like to identify customers walking into stores: Only 3% of retailers do so today. Beacons ping user phones, and cause relevant apps to open. Once customers check in (again, opting in should be up to the shopper to allay privacy concerns), retailers will know who is in the store, and perhaps — what kind of information or products they’re looking for.
Our BI Intelligence forecast finds that beacons will see triple-digit growth rates over the next few years. The Beacons Market Forecast is part of new research from BI Intelligence. The market forecast is paired with an explainer that sets the story straight about what beacons are, how they work, what Apple is doing with iBeacon.
In full, the report:
- We look at why Apple is still in the lead, and ahead of Google, when it comes to beacon technology. Apple’s iBeacon implementation means that iPhones running the latest version of iOS 7 can scan for beacons in the background, even when the relevant apps are closed. That doesn’t yet exist on Android.
- Gives estimates on beacon penetration into top retailers, beacon installed base, and how many smartphones will be compatible with beacons.
- Outline the ways that beacons are currently being used in stores, and other venues.
- Explains why retailers are so excited about beacons and what they hope to accomplish with this new technology.
- Proves that location-based app notifications powered by beacons increases user engagement in apps, and drives more in-store sales.
To access the Beacons Market Forecast Report and BI Intelligence’s ongoing coverage on the future of retail, mobile, and e-commerce — including charts, data, and analysis — sign up for a free trial.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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