Beacon executives at the ad:tech New York conference claim that nearly five million beacons will be deployed over the next five years. The execs did acknowledge that beacon adoption has been slower in the U.S. than in other geographies, but expect to see those difference dissolve as more major retailers and brands jump on to the beacon bandwagon.
“Mobile is the key to making these beacon technologies work,” said Kevin Hunter, COO, Gimbal, San Diego, CA. “It’s a digital sixth sense for us. Technologies like this really help us engage with the physical world around us more passively.”
Beacons come with upfront costs, as retailers must upgrade and adopt the technology possible – but with the holiday season in the offing the investment is seeming increasingly desirable.
Challenges remain however, especially in the realm of consumer privacy right which limit what type of data can be gathered and used,
Beacons have seen success abroad, however, which makes the industry enthusiastic about its prospects among American consumers.
A lot of these countries are mobile-first,” said Dave Mathews, founder and CEO of NewAer, Los Angeles, CA. “If you walk into a Macy’s, you see screens everywhere. In other countries, they’re leveraging the screen that’s in people’s hands first.”