SANTA MONICA, Calif. – According to The Lempert Report Innovation Series, supermarket operators will be able to communicate offers to retail shoppers on their cell phones while they shop. A low-energy Bluetooth connection – Apple's iBeacon – determines a smart phone's location and then sends messages on special offers about items in the store as they shop the aisles. It can also facilitate payments at the point-of-sale so customers don't need their wallets.
If a grocery store places an iBeacon in the deli department, for example, it can send a message offering a free side dish with the purchase of a featured deli meat, so when a shopper walks past the deli, they receive the promotional message on their phone.

"This is a win-win for both shoppers and retailers," says Phil Lempert, CEO and editor of The Lempert Report. "Retailers can use this technology to get shoppers into store aisles they may not be shopping in and consumers have access to sales and deals. These technologies are a necessity in this competitive marketplace."