Proximity Marketing Benefits Businesses


Proximity marketing tools that function through channels like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth benefit retailers by enticing customers to make a purchase at a brick-and-mortar business. Businesses can offer coupons, rewards, and free gifts to new customers so that they enter their store or restaurant to use them, or tempt existing customers to purchase a specific item tailored to them based on their previous visits.

Proximity marketing works because it is the epitome of relevance. The more contextually relevant a message is, the more likely a person is to interact with it (source), and a user being prompted when they’re near or in a location is relevant to them in that moment. Businesses can benefit from this type of marketing because they learn what products their customers are interested in, and ideally, by offering on-the-spot coupons, promotions and special offers, the technology will drive shoppers to make a purchase at the store rather than later from an online merchant (source).


Proximity Marketing Benefits Consumers


The data that is collected through proximity marketing can allow businesses to cater to each specific customer’s needs. A customized shopping experience can be created after a customer’s shopping habits are documented. Retailers can use beacons to get data such as overall time spent in the store and the dwell time at particular product aisles (source) to give product specific coupons depending on what the customer browsed and bought. Proximity marketing can also benefit restaurant-goers because when their information is collected, restaurants can adjust menus and promotions to correspond to their guests’ needs and wants (source).

Proximity marketing can also help consumers receive a VIP treatment. For instance, when a beacon recognizes that a consumer that has already opted in to proximity marketing features has walked into a first class lounge, they can be met with a welcome message or have their favorite drink or snack brought to them right away. Virgin Atlantic has already found a way to pamper their guests via proximity marketing by alerting the outdoor lounge staff at Heathrow Airport of the temperature outside and prompting them to offer blankets to guests when it gets chilly (source).


Wearable Technology and Proximity Marketing


Wearable technology is making its way into our future, and it could really influence proximity marketing strategies. Channels such as Swarm and Facebook Check-in will have to accommodate to Smartwatches, Smartglasses, and whatever Smart tech is current to allow users to check-in and receive promotions via that technology.

This tech already benefits proximity marketing strategies by making it easier for consumers to receive messages. Since smart watches use haptic feedback, when a user is prompted via a proximity marketing method, the notification alerts them to look at it right away. This eliminates the need for a user to get their phone out of their pocket or a bag in order to view the notification. It makes the business’ message reach the consumer much quicker. And with it, customers can glance at their wrists to view their updates or to interact with beacons, such as requesting assistance or checking the back stock of inventory on an item (source). Functions like these bring proximity marketing engagement closer than ever to users, making it accessible and appealing in a way that encourages heavier use (source).


Real Life Example 


There used to be a local coffeehouse near UCF called Boston Coffeehouse. Since it was only about a 15 minute drive from campus, I used to go there to study all the time. The first time that I logged into the Wi-Fi with my computer, it redirected me to a page that gave me information about their SpotOn rewards program. Since I was in their proximity, they targeted me by sending this info when I logged on to their free Wi-Fi. I signed up for SpotOn and downloaded the app to see what rewards I could get. Since Boston Coffeehouse was cheaper than the on-campus coffee options, offered me a comfortable place to study with Wi-Fi and outlets, and I got a free coffee every 5 trips there with SpotOn, I went there at least 3 times a week instead of passing by Starbucks or  Dunkin’ Donuts on campus.


How Could A Gift For Teaching Benefit From Proximity Marketing?


A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) could take advantage of proximity marketing to engage volunteers and teachers. When recurring volunteers and teachers connect to our Wi-Fi every time that they come in, they could be redirected to a page with a link to leave a review or even a page with ready-made fun social media posts that they can share with friends to spread the word about AGFT. Those who are connecting to the Wi-Fi for the very first time, likely new volunteers and new teachers, can be prompted with a store tour. AGFT can put beacons in each section of the store and they can connect to them via Bluetooth to learn about the products in that section and how the check in and check out process works. Then, if the teachers have any questions while they are shopping in the free store, they can instantly use the beacons as reference.



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