1M beacon giveaway seeks to deepen retail adoption

Beacon adoption at retail is about to get a boost with 1 million free Bluetooth beacons soon to be handed out to merchants.

ShopX, a retail platform for workforce management, announced it would give away 1 million units of hardware and the software to go with it, for free. The move is intended to deepen ShopX's engagement with retailers.

"This for us, is an investment in infrastructure," said ShopX Founder and CEO Wayne Kyle. "There is so much more to beacons than just pushing ads, coupons and offers to shoppers. Through indoor navigation and mobile, retailers can dramatically improve their bottom line through optimized operations and better customer service. Customers can get instant access to in-store assistants and enjoy other online-shopping benefits whilst shopping in brick and mortar stores."

The company expects to enable at least 100,000 retail outlets on the ShopX beacon platform through this offer, making it the largest beacon deployment to date.

Although beacons are being deployed at retail, much of the attention has been on the technology's ability to push messages and coupons to shoppers at the shelf. One of the lesser discussed features include mobile enterprise tools. An in-store network can link associates to shoppers via mobile devices, creating a more engaging in-store experience.

The beacons themselves are relatively inexpensive, but the cost of maintaining, upgrading and developing programs that utilize the beacons are still largely unknown. But the promise of beacons burns bright as early reports show higher engagement with a retailer's brand.

For more:
-See this ShopX announcement
-See this MediaPost story

Related stories:
In-store app usage 16x higher with beacons
BLE set to grow as Android users grow
Walgreens launches iBeacon pilot
Shoppers reject in-store tracking by retailers
Apple rolls out iBeacon sensors in all US retail stores