With Proximity Marketing rocking the Martech world & causing a roar in local businesses, will be seeing a martech innovation phaseshift of the companies on the same?
Just imagine, you walk into a retail gift store and start looking for a wristwatch, and suddenly your smartphone buzzes. The wristwatch that you have been looking for online for a while is now available at a limited time discount of 30%, only for you!
Wouldn’t this personalized, location-specific offer grab your attention and you might also consider a purchase decision at the physical store? Won’t such real-time, personalized communication surprise you? Won’t you be thinking, what is this & how this happened? So, let’s dive-in to get answers to your questions.
The evolution of technology has improved the quality as well as the reach of advertising and information sharing. With the passing years’ companies have increasingly expanded their range, and as the reach and exposure are addressed by worldwide capabilities, companies are also focusing on something relatively new, called Proximity Marketing. Proximity marketing has been defined and given a place in the marketing mix in recent times. According to Store Experience Study 2019, proximity marketing is the most popular emerging technology among retailers in North America, ahead of AI, machine learning, and the IoT. So, let’s get a better idea of proximity marketing.
Proximity marketing, also known as Hyperlocal Marketing is all about reaching the right audience, at the right place, and at the right time. It includes using location-based technology to target potential customers with hyper-personalized ads or communication based on their proximity with and within the retail store or local businesses, enabling them to make a purchase decision immediately.
A group of technologies is used in proximity marketing such as:
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons or Beacons
- Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)
- Near-Field Communication (NFC)
- QR Codes
Each of these technologies has its own set of pros and cons.
Advantages of Proximity marketing for Retail and Local Businesses
According to eMarketer, 88% of global retail sales still happens offline. Proximity marketing gives an opportunity for these retail stores and local businesses to personalize content in real-time, increase visitor engagement, and, eventually, improve the in-store customer experience.
Proximity Marketing is versatile, simple, and easy to use. Moreover, it is the fusion of online and offline marketing and sales methods. It also scraps the threat to local businesses and retailers that eCommerce might grab the majority of their business and market share. Proximity marketing brings numerous benefits to retailers and local businesses:
- Enhanced Customer Engagement
Users are already looking at their smartphones. In fact, 75% of in-store consumers use their smartphones while they are shopping.
- Hyper-personalization of Customer Datat
On the basis of the data that you derive from a consumer, you can use them to hyper-personalized your communications. You can send communications with much higher intent that will drive higher engagement rates.
- Advanced customer insights
Proximity marketing creates huge amounts of user data. Basically, you’re getting an entire purchase map from the consumers in your store. You can see what exactly drives your consumers to purchase, whether it’s an offer, informational videos, or interactive campaigns. These insights will enable you to device your future strategies accordingly.
- Higher conversion rates due to smoother Customer Experience
It is estimated that more than 57% of consumers are likely to engage with location-based communications. Since this kind of marketing concentrates completely on consumers, you’re notifying your target audience who are already motivated to buy.
Effective applications of Proximity Marketing
Numerous businesses are already using proximity marketing to enhance their sales and increase their ROI. Some of the businesses that are effectively using Proximity marketing are as follows,
- Target Audience
The second-largest general merchandise retailer in the United States, Target, started testing beacon technology in 50 of its retail stores nationwide in 2015 to boost their marketing. They have limited the beacon notifications to two push notifications per shopper per shopping trip so that the customer doesn’t get overwhelmed with constant notification alerts.
The communication appears both as push notifications and in-app messages on the app of Target “Target Run” page that resembles a social media news feed offering deals, discounts, most pinned items on Pinterest, etc. Target rolled out Bluetooth beacon technology in-stores in 2017 to power indoor maps in its app.
- Amazon Go-Store
In 2018, the retail and eCommerce giant Amazon started a new convenience store in Seattle. Amazon Go is a mini-market stocked with food and technology items. This store was well equipped with beacons and proximity technology with the goal to deliver the ultimate customer experience.
Amazon’s proprietary“Just Walkout Technology” is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of this store where shoppers don’t have to stand in long queues for billing and checkout. Beacon sensors are placed all over the store to monitor the products picked up by shoppers and also improve customer engagement.
While Amazon has started the fire, other retail brands like Nike and Walmart are also catching up by revamping their store strategies to match the new Amazon Go stores!
- Google Beacon
The tech-giant Google made a huge splash in the beacon market with the announcement of Google Beacon Platform, Eddystone, and Nearby API in 2015. These platforms helped users in locating local businesses and stores according to the location of the user. Google also launched a new feature called Nearby Notifications, that allowed developers/businesses to tie an app or website to a beacon and create contextual notifications, to engage with customers even in the absence of an application.
Recently in 2020, Google launched its Local Trust Pack, which is looked upon as the arrival of a new era in local marketing and advertising. This is yet another step towards providing authentic and reliable search results for local advertising. The green checkmark next to some of the search results is the new norm and a symbol of trust for customers. The green badge is displayed next to the local advertisers that participate in this new layer of trust. While the badge is a seal of trust and reliability for the customers, it opens the door to Local Services Ads (LSA) for the service provider.
- Best Buy
Best Buy implemented a beacon strategy to boost sales and win out more business with a personal touch. The retail giant chose to utilize its own application as well as the Shopkick retailing app to offer rewards to shoppers, simply for stepping foot inside the door of the store. Best Buy lacked in the actual in-store promotion of products as you go by a category.
Business Giants have already started using proximity marketing to enhance their local reach and optimize their sales, whereas local businesses and retailers have started learning it in recent times. Business Giants like Google are helping small businesses in leveraging proximity marketing. In a time when local businesses and retailers are witnessing existential crises, proximity marketing is emerging as their hope not only of survival but also as a competition to the online market.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chandrima is a Content management executive with a flair for creating high quality content irrespective of genre. She believes in crafting stories irrespective of genre and bringing them to a creative form. Prior to working for MartechCube she was a Business Analyst with Capgemini.