Proximity marketing: the best offer at the right time
Before customers makes their choice, i.e. in the awareness phase of the customer journey, the retailer must make them an irresistible offer. If the customer is near or even inside the store, this is possible through proximity marketing sales strategies. Beacons are one of the main elements of this location-based marketing. These small transmitters use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to communicate with smartphones which have the relevant app installed.
Local and personalized advertising
This creates new, lucrative opportunities: up-to-date and – most importantly – situation-dependent messages can be sent to a smartphone when the customer walks past or steps inside a store. And text messages are not the only thing that can be sent. Extensive and attractive multimedia advertising messages can reach customers in the quickest way possible. These can be personalized inserts such as special offers or coupons. Consumers can also be guided through the store to the products that they are looking for.
Anyone who visits a weekly market or shopping arcade will be familiar with traders who try to sell their goods to passing customers. Or who try to hand out flyers with details of special offers to pedestrians. Proximity marketing, the localized targeting of customers via their mobile devices, is essentially no more than a continuation of this battle for consumers’ attention – only this time using innovative, technical means. Beacons play a key role here.
Technology affine customers as a prerequisite
These inconspicuous devices consist of a transmitter the size of a two euro coin which can be installed easily anywhere in the store. The transmitter sends out its own ID as a signal, which in turn can be received by smartphones in the vicinity – given that their Bluetooth software is enabled and the relevant app is installed. Through the use of the new BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology, this can even be achieved while conserving battery power.
By installing the smartphone app, customers actively consent to receiving advertising. In order to send this advertising, the app communicates with a central system. This localizes the smartphone user and determines what beacons are in the vicinity. Relevant offers or messages tailored to this local area are then enabled and sent to the customer’s smartphone.
Advising customers throughout the customer journey
Thanks to proximity marketing, a retailer can maintain optimum contact with customers, even before they enter the store. Interested parties near the entrance can be targeted with a push message and encouraged to visit the store with attractive offers or a shopping coupon.
Once inside the store, customers have access to a complete store catalog on their mobile phones which shows what products are in stock, where they are located and how much they cost. After selecting an offer, the customer is then guided to the desired product via in-store navigation. Product details, targeted discounts and suitable product combinations can also be shown as soon as a person approaches a specific product. At the end of the customer journey, even mobile payment via beacon is possible.