In the next year companies are expected to take advantage of beacon technology to connect directly with customers.

Industry experts are predicting that beacon technology will have a widespread impact on retail in the coming year, as more brick-and-mortar stores adopt the practice of contacting customers as they shop. Beacons communicate with consumers’ smartphone apps through a Bluetooth signal, allowing companies to track data as well as deliver personalized product recommendations.

Last year, Macy’s and Target both tested out the use of beacons, and this year hundreds of other large retail chains will be following in their footsteps. Business Insider reports that beacon technology is expected to directly influence over $4 billion worth of United States retail sales this year at the largest retailers.

More than half of these beacon uses are predicted to be coupons, allowing companies to deliver product deals to consumers in an effort to attract them into stores. Loyalty programs will also be important, since businesses will take the opportunity to reward shoppers who enter store locations frequently. Beacon-powered apps are set to play a significant role in delivering data on consumer behavior and preferences as well, allowing companies to offer personalized recommendations to customers based on their buying history.

Beacon technology is both low-cost and low-maintenance, making it even more attractive for companies looking for a way to connect with customers directly.

If your company is looking for a way to gather more customer data and deliver better personalized options for your shoppers, then you may want to upgrade your point of sale and inventory system. This way you can give your customers a seamless and secure transaction experience while staying on the forefront of retail technology. The next year is sure to see retailers striving to make better connections with their customers, and this can be done through point of sale technology as well as beacon devices.