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Everything Business Owners Need to Know About Beacons Find out what beacons are, how they work, what they cost and more.

By Mikal E. Belicove

This story appears in the April 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »


Q: What are beacons, and how can they boost my sales?

Beacons are small, wireless broadcasting devices that transmit a data signal that can be received by a smartphone—in this case, the one belonging to your customer. Once the beacon and smartphone connect, a retailer or service provider can instantly deliver a welcome message or discount.

There will be 4.5 million beacons in use in the U.S. by the end of 2018, according to a report from BI Intelligence, with 3.5 million of those used by brick-and-mortar retailers.

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