What Are The Top 5 Proximity Marketing Solutions For Retail ?
Digital marketing is the ultimate element of business development, after innovation. This segment encompasses all marketing efforts by strategically implementing electronic devices, internet, and advanced technologies. One such innovative strategy that delivers a highly personalized customer experience is PROXIMITY MARKETING.
Proximity marketing is continual marketing that refers to the study of encompassing radius surrounding a particular business establishment. In simple words, it’s a means to communicate with potential customers at the right place, at the right time and with highly personalized messages on their smart devices. The notes can have greetings, exclusive offers in the store aisle, or asking for feedback on new products.
For decades, business owners and traditional shopkeepers just thought of communicating their bests to customers at significant moments, but proximity marketing with its advanced proximity sensor technology made it possible now. The marketing criteria assist the businesses and brands to send location-triggered messages on phones through a Bluetooth network. This digital technology has incredibly bridged the gap between offline and online.
How does proximity marketing work?
The entire process is easy with beacons, the broadcasting equipment that sends message signals in the form of text, images, audio and video to Bluetooth enabled devices within broadcast server range. The must-haves of proximity market techniques are:
- The consumer must have a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device to get connected within the range where proximity marketing technique is being applied.
- Beacons are deployed where the consumer is currently located, to send out and receive marketing information messages.
- It’s vital for targeted consumers to download and install the relevant mobile application on smartphones to receive push notifications.
Proximity Marketing Process
To understand the process of proximity marketing, let’s consider an example of a retail store.
The beacons are deployed at different corners and aisles of a store with their ongoing offers. The Bluetooth low energy beacon signals are transmitted all around and the signals are a combination of numbers and characters. These transmitting signals get detected by the Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and send ID number of the signal to the cloud server. Then, the server tracks the action assigned to that ID number and responds accordingly, which could be notification related to product launch, or discount, feedback form or merely a warm greeting! Eventually, these messages will drive customers to a landing page of the website, relevant form or markdown card that will help in the conversion of a visitor to a client.
Proximity Marketing Solutions
In-the-moment proximity marketing is considered a granular form of location marketing that delivers highly personalized customer experience with the correct context of location and time. Leveraging beacons technology entirely focuses on the accurate position and not a virtual geofence to map their customer’s location. This approach makes communication more personalized and contextual, ending up with a balanced knowledge of customers and in-store traffic.
The ultimate proximity marketing solutions that make the campaign highly effective are based on five different systems. They are:
- Bluetooth Beacons Based Solution
Currently, Bluetooth beacons play an important role in proximity marketing technology as mostly every mobile device support Bluetooth. From reports and surveys, it’s concluded 86% of proximity sensors are deployed for business growth is beacons. This process involves setting up Bluetooth “broadcasting” equipment at different locations to sending information via text, images, audio or video to Bluetooth enabled devices within transmitted range. The signal transmitting devices are referred to as beacons. On connecting to ‘discoverable’ Bluetooth device within server range, automatic messages are received asking whether to process or not. Bluetooth based proximity marketing is also referred to as close range marketing.
There are two beacon standards which depend on the diversity of mobile phones:
For iOS devices, Apple launched their first beacon standard in the year 2013 named iBeacon. It was the start when physical started merging with digital. The renowned retailers such as Wal-Mart, Macy’s, and Starwood hotels implemented the technology in their outlets. Installation of iBeacon allowed Apple smartphones to receive BLE signals from the nearby beacons.
For Android devices, Google introduced Eddystone in 2015. It’s an open URL protocol that sends notification without having an app installed using the Eddystone-URL. With time the proximity marketing solution became a big hit among business and continued to grow. We can say, in no time Eddystone protocol restricted the popularity of iBeacons among the businesses as the number of Android users are quite high. With the in-built Google Nearby service, the smartphones with or without app can receive Eddystone signals.
- NFC Based Solution
Near Field Communication protocol is designed to enable two electronic devices and highly secure payment applications. This contactless payment system helps users pay just via tapping their phone against NFC-enabled devices. Retailers have found NFC based proximity marketing quite cost effective that effectively engage consumers with different brands. However, NFC based system doesn’t require integration of the technology into IT systems of the business – which became a barrier to new technologies like BLE. NFC technology is widely adopted in different countries that allow consumers to choose when and where to receive the marketing messages.
Numerous NFC-enabled smartphones are entering the market to encourage NFC mobile wallet globally. In Androids, The NFC wallet includes ISIS mobile payment and Google Wallet. Initially, NFC wasn’t included in Apple phone, but the new series have included the same.
- Wi-Fi Based Solution
Wi-Fi is a fresh addition to the concept of proximity solution that has a high tendency to spark people’s interest in physical marketing. The marketers are leveraging Wi-Fi based solution, but the point is nothing happens until the visitor is spurred to hop on the local Wi-Fi network.
As the customers’ start using free Wi-Fi, then messages are forwarded to smartphones with location-specific content to the consumer’s browser. These geographical, contextual and behavioral target messages are sent to keep them alert about the recent offers in the store. Businesses implementing Wi-Fi based proximity marketing solution are receiving a good response as influencing to switch on their Wi-Fi is quite easy that leads to enhanced business.
- RFID Based Solution
RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) tags are highly effective in tracking the movement of products and inventory from the shelves of the store. The introduction of RFID technology was a revolution in healthcare, logistics, retail, and other enterprise sectors. This technology grew to be a big thing in a very little time. The RFID chip has no maintenance issue as the antenna doesn’t require any power at all. The application is worth the purchase and serves effectively in a controlled environment.
- QR Code Based Solution
QR code stands for Quick Response Code. QR codes are a type of two-dimensional matrix barcode, it is scanned using smartphone applications that gives an access to all information stored in it. The introduction of proximity marketing in the business industry is skyrocketing with proximity beacons and QR codes. These marketing medium return positive results for the business with a ‘call to action’ notifications on all smartphones. The process is quite simple, just scan on the fly and get connected to the product on the stop or just bookmark it and come back to it later. The proximity marketing solution is fast and requires less attention than digital signage.
QR proximity system is rapidly replacing barcode badge and magnetic stripe systems as those have a high tendency to wear out, less secure as are prone to duplication, and require electronic devices to read the tags. The exposed electronic system to dirt, vandalism, and grime can hamper the units leading to extra expenses; whereas QR codes are manageable with the smartphones of the customers.
Proximity marketing is gaining momentum in the business and has proved its part of moving beyond the trial phase. Proximity-derived data, when combined with the mobile browsing history, will allow the business to target specifically at the individual, along with the chances of optimization of a channel, inventory mix, and products to take business sale to the next level. Again, the inclination of the world towards digitalization, it’s certain that Proximity Marketing will be a big thing in the near future.
Lastly, it can be wrapped up by saying that thanks to proximity marketing, a retailer can now easily maintain contact with their customers. Once inside the store, potential customers can be encouraged to shop with a push message with attractive offers or shopping coupons. The proximity marketing technology makes customer journey soothing and captivating, even the payment is made easy with the effective yet secure means. The beacons are ready for a revolutionary grab in the business industry, be prepared to abreast your business with the latest technologies to boost the most!