Proximity Marketing: what is changing the game

Once upon a time there was retail. People just checked in, look around and buy. Proximity marketing was represented just by colored and lighting posters promoting the local venues.

Later on, there was a guy turning billboards and screaming to promote a store and grab customers’ attention.

And today?

Today mobile is changing the game and the store experience as well. Now it is very common to walk in a store, try clothes, shoes and buy the product online, just to be sure it fits perfectly.

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But not just that. In 2013, 46% of adult smartphones owners used it to call for advice before a purchase. 28% looked up product reviews and 27% used it to look up products pricing and compare these. 2014 is getting even better in terms of mobile usage in store.

There are already places where the store is empty of products and you just need to walk-in, purchase via mobile receiving the product straight to your place. It looks to be the future for retail.

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So what is the challenge for retailers in this process to be part of it and interact with customers in real time without loosing the chance to loose a sale as well?

Real time marketing and proximity marketing are just some examples of how advertising can come across the buying process.

Targeted marketing, based on specific geographic radius, is already used for more than ten years but it’s still not keeping up an high level of engagement.

One of the most interesting and modern realty marketers are watching with interest are beacons.

Retail outlets are adopting beacons to provide customers with product information, flash sales or deals, and to speed up the checkout process with a completely contactless payments system.” (Business Insider). So beacons can be used to trigger specific in store ads based on the level of interest of any single customer with the option, also, to pay without even doing any contact.

People are interested and willing to use this service for their shopping experience but there are some concerns about privacy. In fact, you should activate your Bluetooth to allow beacons to track your position.

Paypal is working on a beacon solution that perfectly fits with its payment method. No cash, no cards and no signature. Everything is managed by an app and any store can target offers based on any single client, offering rewards and discounts.

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Even wifi is becoming relevant and interesting for a real-time and proximity strategy. Some wifi providers, as the social wifi wiMAN, are offering a social login (with Facebook or Google) to track in store customers, according to their privacy, and offering an overview about a store audience. With the app people will than auto connect and receive custom emails and push notifications to be rewarded.

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Marketers are considering these solutions especially related to the most important information for them: data. 

According to eMarketers, below is the list of the most important data for marketing success. Contact data, sales data and demographic data are the most interesting for them. Apparently geolocation data are not so important, probably because the e-commerce and online sales are getting more and more crucial for brands.

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