How SMBs can run proximity marketing campaigns with beacons in 2019
Sneh Ratna Choudhary
Last Updated:  December 12, 2018
Proximity marketing or location-based marketing has taken several forms over the years – flyers, sign spinning, and OOH advertising. But, proximity marketing with beacons has become and will continue to be the most popular, cost-efficient way to send out proximity marketing campaigns. By 2020, 400 million beacons are expected to be deployed.
With the numerous data breaches coming to light, consumers have become hyper-aware of what data they may be potentially sharing. Beacons do not collect any personally identifiable information putting any privacy concerns that may arise to rest.
So, how can SMBs start running proximity marketing campaigns with beacons?
One way to do it, also the hard way, is by purchasing the hardware from a beacon hardware company and then spend time configuring it, setting it up and looking for a compatible third-party software to run campaigns. If SMBs choose to hire a developer instead, depending on the complexity of the platform, it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year.
This is also not a viable option for most SMBs given the time and financial commitments. That is why a more comprehensive solution is recommended.
Beaconstac: An end-to-end comprehensive solution
Beaconstac consists of a 5 part solution designed to make proximity marketing through beacons a seamless and effortless process.
1. Beacon Hardware
Quality assured beacons
Choosing the right beacon for SMBs when buying from a hardware company may be a hit or a miss. Purchase from Beaconstac and you get thoroughly field-tested beacons that work exactly as intended.
BLE beacons compatible with iOS and Android
Beaconstac beacons are compliant with both the Eddystone and iBeacon protocol – the two protocols through which beacons communicate – allowing SMBs to use the same beacon for more than one use-case.
6 different beacon options
Why settle for one beacon when you can choose from 6 different ones? Beaconstac offers a fleet of beacons each intended to give certain use-cases a powerful boost.
The Beaconstac app for Android and iOS allows SMBs to manage their beacons efficiently.
Checking battery health
The app informs you of how much battery is left in the beacon. This lets you know if you need to replace the batteries soon.
Turn On/Off the beacons
Easily turn on or switch beacons off from the app to save battery when not in use.
Modify transmission range and advertising interval
The transmission range determines how far a beacon can send notifications and the advertising interval defines how frequently the message is to be sent. Easily set or modify these parameters from the app.
3. Content Management Platform and Powerful Analytics
Content Management Platform
Cloud-based campaign creation platform
As an SMB, you can choose from different types of campaigns – interactive forms or markdown cards (aesthetically pleasing campaigns) or even redirect users to a website or a landing page of your choosing.
Since the platform is cloud-based, you can easily modify or run campaigns remotely either on a desktop or mobile.
Feature-rich intuitive platform
Setting up and running your first campaign takes less than 15 minutes. The intuitive platform is easy to navigate and comes with a whole host of features such as schedule campaigns for later, assigning multiple campaigns to one beacon, and setting up rules to target audiences. The dashboard even features QR codes associated with every markdown card that can be printed and used to engage customers walking by.
No need to start from scratch
Editing campaigns require no knowledge of CSS. Add media, CTA buttons and even embed Google maps onto a markdown card. You can also change the heading styles, colors, and text. Create a campaign by clicking on one of the beautiful templates readily available to avoid starting from scratch.
Monitor campaign performance
See which beacons are performing well, the number of notifications sent, and the CTR (click-through-rate). Export this vital data and get an hourly customized report to fine-tune your campaigns.
Integrate Google Analytics
The dashboard also allows you to integrate your Google Analytics account with Beaconstac to gain a deeper insight into your audience.
Running proximity marketing campaigns through beacons does not require SMBs to create and maintain their own app. Beaconstac offers a beacon-aware app called NearBee for both iOS and Android that deliver active, visually rich and targeted notifications to the lock screen of your customers. The free app allows you to send your customers coupons, deals, and offers. By 2020, beacons are expected to deliver no less than 1.6 billion coupons. NearBee is also scheduled to have further exciting updates which will enable businesses to personalize NearBee seamlessly akin to their own app within the NearBee app
Deploy beacons strategically to offer proximity based content to in-store customers and ones nearby. Rich notifications can be sent out in real time through the platform. This can be new deals, offers or even product recommendations. Burger King recently trolled McDonald’s and ran a great location-based campaign that let customers who came within 600 feet of a McDonald’s order a Burger King Whopper for 1 cent.
Send tailored notifications to customers who frequent your business by allowing to rack up and redeem loyalty points. 86% of shoppers join loyalty programs to collect reward points. Loyalty programs also help advance a business’s relationship with customers.
Prompt customers to follow/leave a review on social media or Google
Customer reviews are decidedly important to the point that 95% of shoppers will read an online review before deciding to make a purchase. Displaying these reviews can also increase conversion rates by 270%. Prompting customers to leave a review and follow your business online is an excellent strategy to bring in more business.
Give customers detailed information about products
Customers need additional information before making a purchase. Instead of having a salesperson tagging every shopper, beacons can send them notifications that let them know, for instance, what garments a mannequin is wearing, nutritional information on groceries or even a comparison between two similar products.
Get customer feedback to drive inventory
Take a note from the Amazon 4 store that lets online reviews decide the inventory of the physical brick and mortar store. Send customers interactive forms to get their feedback on inventory or how their in-store experience has been. SMBs can then incorporate this feedback to make the customer feel heard. A bad customer experience is the #1 reason why shoppers switch to other businesses.
Let shoppers save offers to Apple Wallet
The Beaconstac dashboard has an Apple Wallet integration that lets every markdown card be saved on the Wallet app on iOS. This is particularly useful when shoppers want to use a coupon for later.
Supermarkets and retailers can include the above campaigns in their beacon marketing strategy as well as the ones below.
One of the major reasons for cart abandonment is long lines at the checkout counter. Even establishments that offer one of those self-checkout machines often see a worker helping out customers use it. Cashierless checkout is one of the prime reasons why Amazon Go and Zippin have become so popular. But you don’t need such a complex system to implement this. Beacons offer a smooth way to pay for products by sending a payment gateway link to a customer. This hassle-free unmanned operation results in fast checkouts and loyal customers.
Offer free home delivery
Retail stores can also allow customers to add products to their online cart by nudging them through beacons and offering free home delivery. Decathlon does the exact same thing by allowing shoppers to scan products and delivers it to their homes.
Offer personalized recommendations
Supermarkets and retailers can offer personalized recommendations and auxiliary products when a customer approaches a certain aisle. For instance, if a customer is shopping for skin care products, they can be gently nudged to check out sheet masks as well.
Run festive campaigns automatically
The Schedule feature on the dashboard allows businesses to schedule a campaign for later. This is of great use when there are several promotions to be run back-to-back or during the busy holiday season.
67% of SMBs built their own apps in 2017 and this number is expected to steadily rise. Even without your own app, an SMB can leverage the entire Beaconstac solution to surge forward using proximity marketing. One of the major reasons why proximity marketing is well received is that it is highly relevant to the end user. 8 out of 10 customers appreciate contextually relevant campaigns. With reducing costs, and increasing awareness of proximity marketing it is only inevitable that SMBs drive this technology in 2019 to deliver an improved in-store experience.
Sneh is a Content Marketing Manager at Beaconstac. When she’s not obsessing over customized QR Codes, she can be found fawning over dogs or bingeing on Netflix. To discuss content marketing or anything else under the sun, reach out to her on Twitter or LinkedIn.