Retail shopping is going to be transformed by “beacons” which are low-energy, location-sensitive transmitters that can detect nearby smartphones or internet-enabled devices.
They might even make one of the longest discussed ideas in advertising a reality. Thanks to Beacons, if you pass by a store you’ve visited or might like to visit, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone alerting you to the store, or perhaps a special discount they’re offering. Of course, people have been talking about this idea forever, and nothing has happened yet.
Based on estimates charted for us by BI Intelligence, beacons are expected to explode over the next two years as smart devices proliferate — especially now, as wearables like smartwatches provide more opportunities to put ads and special offers right on your wrist. According to BI Intelligence, nearly 1/3rd of all retail locations in the US are expected to have beacons by the end of this year.
By the end of 2016, beacons are expected to exist in most retail locations, especially as more merchants learn how context-sensitive ads can help grow their business. Check out this FAQ for more on how beacons work.