Beacon deployment has begun in earnest.
LevelUp, one of the top mobile in-store proximity payments companies, recently installed beacons at select retail locations. London’s Regent Street, a top shopping destination, is being outfitted with beacons. And recently a new product emerged from beacon-maker Radius that can turn businesses’ Macs running OS X into iBeacon technology.
At BI Intelligence, we’ve been closely tracking beacon development.
- Our estimates find that there are already over half a billion iOS and Android smartphones in use that are equipped with BLE and could receive beacon notifications.
Beacons are extremely important to bricks-and-mortar retailers because they provide a way to deliver offers and notifications to consumers’ smartphones via a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) signal while they’re in-store. The devices provide a unique advantage for bricks-and-mortar businesses as they continue to try to deflect the threat from e-commerce-only retailers. Beacons won’t keep people from using their smartphones to price compare — something Amazon’s Fire phone just made even easier — but they could send people the kind of incentives that will entice them to convert in-store.
In a recent report, BI Intelligence looks at what beacons are, how they work, and how t
he technology is revolutionizing the way devices can connect and interact with each other, and physical spaces. We also examine those industries poised to see the biggest investments in beacons, and why Apple’s debut of iBeacon has given beacon technology a huge boost.
Of course, it’s not as simple as a consumer simply having BLE-compatible smartphones. Consumers also need to opt-in to receive offers from merchants and have their location tracking turned on on the phone. But all the recent investment in beacons suggests that retail businesses see a huge upside in beacons.
In full, the report:
- Makes the case that beacons will take off once a handful of major retailers roll them out.
- Includes the points-of-view of executives at several start-up beacon-focused firms.
- Dives into the data on consumer attitudes toward location-based notifications, and whether beacon-powered alerts will be welcomed or resisted.
- Lists many of the possible applications for beacons, and how some large retailers and organisations have already tried them.
- Explains why beacons powered by Bluetooth low energy is much more effective than Wi-Fi or GPS for powering notifications indoors.
- Breaks down Apple’s innovative strategy of making all of its devices potential receivers and transmitters in any implementation.
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