Beacons: Debating The Opportunities And The Alternatives

Written By Matthew Kulig, Co-Founder, Aisle411
March 12, 2015

To state the obvious: Beacons alone are not a strategy. However, ‘dumb’ beacons can be part of a ‘smart’ approach to retail, which is why some stores are implementing this low-cost hardware (that uses battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages) to provide customers with product information, flash sales or deals, and to speed up the checkout process with a completely contactless payments system. But there are limitations.


So, to ask the obvious: What are the alternatives?


It’s the key question that aisle411 will explore at RetailLoco @ SXSW (March 15), a one day event that will deliver insights and trends on the latest in mobile and location-based tools and techniques for retailers organized by the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA).


The event will feature keynote speakers and panel guests, including myself.  I will talk about alternatives to beacons such as computer vision, magnetics, and sensor fusion. I am joined on a panel, aptly titled Moving Beyond The Beacon, by Kevin Vine – Sr. Man. Digital Strategy, Dunkin’ Brands, Devon Wright – Co-Founder, Turnstyle Solutions, Scott Roberts – Director, Shoppertrak, and Ryan Craver – SVP, Strategy, HBC/Lord&Taylor.


You can still register for this event and take advantage of this opportunity to listen in to experts talk about indoor location, proximity-based payments, in-store digital signage, push notifications, metrics / analytics, and more. And be sure to stay for networking at the cocktail reception!


If you want to connect with me (or the rest of the aisle411 team) for a meet-up during the event, email or


The LBMA’s – RetailLoco @ SXSW

Date: March 15th, 2015

Location: Austin, TX

Venue: Capital Factory


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