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By Beth Bacheldor

Beacons Set to Drive Coupon Redemption, According to Juniper Research

Almost 1.6 billion coupons will be delivered annually to consumers via Bluetooth BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy, or Bluetooth Smart) beacon technology by 2020, according to a new study from Juniper Research. This is up from just 11 million in 2016, as retailers seek to develop proximity marketing campaigns in and around their stores.

The study, titled "Digital Retail Marketing: Coupons, Advertising & Consumer Engagement 2015-2020," found that while the digital retail marketing industry will continue to be dominated by advertising revenues, coupon contributions will see strong growth—driven, in part, by the rise of Bluetooth beacons.

When smartphones and mobile devices have their Bluetooth technology enabled, they can receive the unique ID number transmitted by a beacon, enabling retailers to push pertinent content and other information to those devices. The report predicts that more than 80 percent of all coupons issued will be on mobile devices by 2020, as opposed to less than 20 percent on PCs and laptops.

Several leading U.S. retailers have now deployed beacon networks, with Macy's having installed more than 4,000 at its stores (see Macy's Expands RFID and Beacon Deployments).

Juniper forecasts that spending on digital retail marketing is set to increase from $174 billion in 2015 to $362.1 billion by 2020—a substantial growth driven, in part, by Bluetooth beacons. "Beacons are set to provide a boost to retailers, as we see major players promote in-store offers and deals though mobile devices, targeting consumers whilst they are shopping," said research author Lauren Foye in a prepared statement. "Coupled with loyalty schemes and rewards, retailers have clear potential to monetize those setting foot in their stores, aiding in promoting more traditional bricks and mortar retail."

According to Juniper, there is significant potential for out-of-home proximity advertising, with beacons starting to be rolled out on buses, metros and taxis, targeting locations that see high footfall.

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