ABI Research said that BLE beacons have become the flavour of the day but wi-fi has an unparalleled reach.
Shops will use wi-fi because of its superior penetration and will be used by major chains as an aid to analytics, ABI said.
Patrick Connolly, a principal analyst at the firm, said that 802.11mc and wi-fi aware are much more accurate than existing wi-fi standards.
He said: “Most access point vendors have developed their own high accuracy algorithms to compete with other indoor technologies.
“Wi-fi Aware has long term potential in a lot of markets, but there is very little for retail technology companies to hang their hats on today.”
He said leading edge startups are hybridising wi-fi with BLE camera analytics and that gives a big potential for proximity advertising and “loyalty rewards”.