The rapid adoption and usage of mobile devices has now expanded consumers’ openness to brand engagement early on in their path-to-purchase. A recent ‘Mobile Audience Insights Report’ released by NinthDecimal, a leading mobile audience intelligence company highlighted the fact that there is currently a huge gap between the the type of proximity marketing messages preferred by shoppers and the type of messages served in-store.

For example, while 61% of shoppers prefer to receive proximity marketing messages on offers in-store, only less than half receive such messages. Similarly, while 42% of shoppers want in-store notifications that keep them informed on the products on sale, only 28% actually receive them. This essential discovery points towards the fact that retailers could boost their proximity marketing campaign ROI by tailoring their notifications to match consumer preferences.

With more than $138 million expected to flow in through retail sales this year at stores that have leveraged beacons, it is highly critical that retailers understand the complexities and opportunities to make the most of a successful proximity marketing campaign. In this post we will discuss about proximity marketing trends that retailers should watch out for this year.

1. In-pocket Phone beaconing:


Image Source: sapientnitroblog.com

Most retail beacon implementations of today require shoppers to interact with a mobile app. These proximity detection devices then send content and offers to the mobile device of shoppers based on the current location of the shopper. One of the main drawbacks of this kind of beaconing is that if the shopper fails to engage with his or her phone in-store then none of the proximity marketing messages will be received.

To solve this challenge, SapientNitro recently introduced passive beacons that tap into mobile devices in a pocket or purse and leverage location information along with past behaviors to personalize content on nearby in-store screens. This novel in-store approach demonstrated at NRF Big Show earlier this month helps shoppers make buying decisions without ever having to use their phone.

A beacon deployed at the entrance of the store triggers the store’s app to identify the loyalty profile of the shoppers way before they approach an in-store screen. The screen will then play a video highlighting a particular product or product category based on the loyalty profile of the shopper approaching the screen. Shoppers can also interact with the screen by tapping on it to see the relevant product in different colors and sizes.

2. Requested Beaconing:


With requested beaconing, beacons are all set to bring another twist to in-store shopping. This new kind of beaconing where the consumer essentially asks to be beaconed, is being tested in many GameStop stores across New York. Contrary to how beacons are currently installed far from the shoppers view at the store entrance or on a ceiling of a particular section, beacons at GameStop are prominently installed at the consumer facing game racks.

The idea behind this is that, instead of pushing messages to game shoppers based on their location in-store, GameStop wants its shoppers to bring their phone near the beacon, if they want additional product information. On bringing their mobile device near the beacon on the rack, the proximity-detection device will trigger the relevant messaging in the GameStop app. With 26% of shoppers reported to be under the impression that retail staff is poorly informed, such easy-access to pull content is a great customer service value proposition.

3. iWatch Beacons:

Though iWatch won’t hit the markets till spring, few retailers are all set to be ready from day one. Marsh Supermarkets recently revealed that it has installed iWatch-ready beacons in all of its 75 stores. Once Apple Watch hits the market, the brand plans to send beacon-triggered reminders such as pulling up a shopping list once inside a store, straight to shoppers’ wrists.

The supermarket Marsh also plans to track coupon redemption and sales data by linking the mobile offers  delivered to an iWatch to the loyalty program of a shopper. This data can then be used to measure crucial analytics such as the time between when a shopper first saw an ad to when he or she checked out.

Thus, retailers all over are now trying to leverage beacons to employ proximity marketing campaigns that will help enhance in-store shopping experience like never before. However, inspite of all the hype around proximity marketing, there is very little actionable information on doing it right. To solve this challenge Mobstac have come up with a new ebook ‘The A to Z of Proximity Marketing with Beacons’. It includes a a Do-It-Yourself proximity marketing worksheet that will help you gain a better understanding of how it works.