Thanks to proximity marketing, it is now possible for a business to target customers near its store or shop.
The secret of this particular type of marketing is targeting the customer at the right place and time. Businesses that deploy proximity marketing ensure that the content they use to target their customers is highly personalized and generates a prompt and positive response.
Several big brands use proximity marketing to target their customers, boost their sales and revenue, and engage with their customers.
Before we proceed on to the ways brands are using proximity marketing strategy and how it is helping them to boost their sales and improve customer engagement, lets us first walk you through:
A proximity marketing strategy utilizes the customers’ precise location to advertise the business’s products or services. The latest mobile technology, i.e., GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile phone triangulation, enables the company to deploy proximity marketing.
4 Types of Proximity Marketing
The following are the most common solutions for using proximity marketing strategy for your brand:
1.Bluetooth Proximity Marketing
Proximity marketing through Bluetooth is also known as beacon marketing. This strategy is implemented by planting the best proximity marketing beacons in a specified location such as the business’s premises, parking lot, or even shops near the business premises.
When customers enter the area where marketing beacons are placed, they receive offers and promotions relevant to their location via the business’s app on their phones.
2.Wi-Fi Proximity Marketing
Wi-Fi is the second most crucial thing to smartphone users after a fully charged battery. Therefore, places that offer free Wi-Fi to customers attract a massive audience compared to the areas that don’t.
Malls, cinemas, restaurants, and even stores that provide free Wi-Fi make the customer spend more time on the premises, increasing the chances of spending more money. But, these aren’t the benefits that free Wi-Fi can provide to your business.
If you are offering free Wi-Fi within your shop or store, you can leverage Wi-Fi proximity marketing to target your customers.
As customers enter the premises, their devices will connect with the Wi-Fi and allow marketers to send them promotions, offers, or advertisements. Moreover, you can also send requests to people who intend to exit your store without buying anything.
To target a new audience via proximity marketing, you can ask the visitors for their email addresses to access the free Wi-Fi. Then, you can target them through proximity marketing in the future and send offers and updates via email marketing.
3. NFC or RFID Proximity Marketing
NFC (near field communication) and RFID (radio-frequency identification) are built-in technologies in cell phones which retailers can use to target their audience.
Near-field communication (NFC) allows the devices to exchange data when they are a few centimeters away from each other. To make it work, both the devices should have an NFC chip.
People receive information from the items that have transmitters attached to them. Once a cellphone is near the article, the information will be transferred without using a Wi-Fi connection.
NFC and RFID proximity marketing allow the marketer to create an interactive shopping, advertising, and payment experience for the buyers. Businesses can also get an insight into customers’ behavior and the number of sales of a product.
4. GPS-based Proximity Marketing
This type of proximity marketing makes use of location data to target the audience in particular areas. For example, GPS technology enables marketers to define a space or a locality to run their targeted advertisement or promotion. GPS uses cell phone towers and satellites to pinpoint the precise location of the customer.
The primary difference between beacons and geofencing is that beacon uses Bluetooth to communicate, whereas geofencing uses GPS signals shared with a smartphone.
There is one thing common in all the types of proximity marketing strategies; targeting the customers. All the methods enable the marketers to reach their customers and send them announcements and offer in a specified location.
Benefits of Proximity Marketing
1.Geotargeting Easy with Proximity Marketing
Brands can easily choose a location to send push notifications to the customers’ mobile phone when he enters, leaves, or is around that location. The companies can send highly targeted messages on the spot without a second delay.
A business can also segment its customers and design separate messages or promotions for each segment. For example, if a customer is near the beacon, he’ll receive the notifications intended by the company to target him.
2.Increases App Engagement and Retention
Improving the rate of app retention is the goal of all brands that have a mobile app. Implementing proximity marketing through beacons is an effective way to increase customer loyalty and improve customer retention.
Companies can check the analytics of their app to get insights into how many users have downloaded the app, opened it, deleted it, or engaged with it. Then, having proper analytics and data, companies can use proximity marketing to send tempting offers and engaging games to increase user engagement on the app.
For example, companies can design the game of spinning the wheel on the app. The customers would love to try their luck and spin the wheel to get a chance of winning gifts or discounts.
3.Helps Gaining a Competitive Edge
Proximity marketing is a highly targeted form of marketing. You can run your ads and schemes when the customer is just at your doorsteps (or nearby). By sending personalized recommendations and offers, there is a higher probability that your customers will visit your store than your competitors.
Deploying proximity marketing will help your business outshine your rivals, attract more customers to your store, and boost sales.
However, do not irritate your customer or send them countless notifications to market your products or services. It will make you appear overly promotional. Instead, understand your target audience, design effective messages, and send them at an appropriate time. Do not bombard them with messages.
Immediate conversions are a dream of every business. Thanks to proximity marketing strategy, you can reach your conversion goals easily.
The most significant plus point of this marketing strategy is targeting the customer at the right place and in the right situation. For instance, companies send out messages to their customers near the store or inside it. By offering them a fantastic deal, your customers will not be able to resist it and splurge into buying the goods they have been eyeing on.
Marketers can entice the customers at the perfect time with offers that will be hard for the customers to ignore.
5.Helps in Providing Personalized Experience
Personalization is a crucial element to elevate your customer’s shopping experience. Proximity marketing can send out personalized messages, product recommendations, and offers according to their likes and interests.
With the help of proximity marketing, a company can notify its sales staff when a regular or loyal customer enters the store. As a result, the team can ensure that he is well assisted inside the venue.
Six Ways Brands are Using Proximity Marketing Right Now
Huge brands like Target, Walmart, McDonald’s, and Ikea have deployed proximity marketing strategies to increase their sales and revenue. They use beacons at their retail stores and other places in their stores’ vicinity for broadcasting personalized and contextually relevant ads to customers and entice them to visit the store.
Here are the six ways how brands are using proximity marketing for boosting their sales and improving customer engagement:
1.Encourage Impulse Buying
Companies send highly targeted messages to customers when they enter the store’s premises or are near its area. They inform the customers about the latest arrival, offers, deals, and bundles to encourage them to visit the store and avail of the discounts and other agreements.
For instance, when a customer receives a message that a clothing store near his location offers a 30% discount, he will be inclined to visit the store since he won’t have to cover a considerable distance to reach there. Moreover, when he gets there, he might avail the offers by shopping from the business.
McDonald’s would be the perfect example in this scenario. First, it targeted the customers through proximity marketing and offered them discount coupons to buy their newly introduced coffee beverages. Then, it tempted the customers to try their new coffees by using the coupons.
Proximity marketing is also used for retargeting the customers who intend to leave the store without buying anything or who showed interest in particular products.
Companies use beacon technology to track the customers and the items they bought from the store to send retargeting promotions and offers. The best proximity marketing beacon device is attached to the carts, and baskets work with the sensors placed on the ceilings, walls, etc. tracks the consumers’ shopping journey.
The signals emitted by the attached beacons on the carts and basket are received by the sensors and sent to the server for analysis. For example, companies can calculate the total time a customer spends in the store and most time spent by him in a particular section or aisle.
If a customer spends a lot of time in a particular section of the store but doesn’t buy anything, he will be sent a discount code or offer to make him buy that product.
3.Indoor Navigation Guide
All the successful stores endeavor to provide an excellent shopping experience to their customers to continue to shop from them in the future and not go to their rivals.
Companies use indoor navigation guides through proximity marketing to improve their experience and help them navigate easily inside the store.
Indoor navigation uses Bluetooth, internet connection, and the premise’s earth magnetic field to enable the buyers to navigate the store by searching for the sections or aisles of interest.
The visitors can use their mobile app to find the product, aisle, or even restrooms. If they do not have the mobile app, they can scan the QR code to navigate the venue within a browser.
4.Promote Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are an excellent way to make your customers shop from you. Customers love to earn loyalty points to redeem those points by getting a discount from the brand or winning a gift.
Companies use the power of proximity marketing to promote their loyalty programs. Apart from providing messages for unique offers and discounts, brands use this marketing strategy to reward their customers for visiting the store or buying something.
When a customer receives loyalty points for visiting the store, he will be tempted to visit frequently to earn more points.
Companies also send out the remainder of the customer’s points in his balance, gifts that he qualifies for, and CTA to enable the customer to claim his reward or offer.
5.Gamify The Visitors Experience
Companies use QR codes and beacons to design fun games for the visitors during popular holiday seasons or festivals and reward them with prizes or vouchers if they win the games.
The popular brand Macy used a beacon-triggered mobile game app to make the shopping experience more engaging and exciting for the visitors. Buyers received a notification for participating in the game and winning $1 million worth of gifts and discounts from the brand.
6. Learn More About The Customer’s Behavior
Brands get to learn and understand their customers better by placing beacons and sensors within the stores. The beacons and sensors record how often the visitor visits the store, where he moves, how much time he spends in the store, and which section he dwells the most.
These creative insights into customers’ behavior enable marketers to understand their customers’ requirements and help them curate more targeted messages for their audience.
Customers are a crucial reason for the success or failure of a business. If the customers shop from a company, it will survive and make its mark in the market. However, if the customers abandon a business and turn their backs on it, they will shut down and won’t compete in the market.
If a business wants to succeed, improve its sales, and boost its revenue. In that case, it must step up its marketing game to attract more customers and provide them with excellent customer service and shopping experience.
Proximity marketing will give your business a competitive edge to attract new customers and lure the existing buyers into becoming your loyal customers.
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – a free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.