Why YELL When You Can Whisper?
The future is now – especially regarding proximity marketing.
What is proximity marketing? Simply put, it’s the practice of providing customers with targeted-marketing messages, offers or content based on their location.
The practice runs on beacon technology which allows a store to target and notify customers who opted-in for messaging within a certain range of the store’s beacons.
There are a few types of proximity marketing technology available, but businesses are gravitating towards Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Wi-Fi beacons offer greater reach and target customers outside of the brick and mortar – to potentially draw traffic to the store. Bluetooth beacons work inside the store and require the integration of a mobile app. Once the beacon is set up and a customer opts in, it detects in-range mobile devices and sends messaging via application notification or text message.
What are companies saying in these messages? As it turns out . . . a little bit of everything.
Promotions are obviously quite popular. Sale announcements or unique QR codes for additional discounts help create interest and draw shoppers in, with hopes of encouraging a purchase.
Other companies, like Alex & Ani, use the technology for product education. This also offers an opportunity to start a conversation and build a relationship that leads to ongoing loyalty.
Nisa uses beacons to track customer journeys – using the resulting data to enhance displays and in-store layouts.
And stores like Walgreens use beacons for convenience services. When the beacon detects an in-store customer, prescription refills and photo printing services are offered.
In the home furnishings industry, beacon technology could make it easier to upsell product. For example, if a customer is standing next to a dining room table, your app could point them to beautiful dinnerware, candelabras or placemats. Likewise, if they’re trying sofas on for size, you could recommend throws and pillows.
However, you’ll want to make sure you don’t go so far down the sales path that you dismiss relationship building opportunities. Add value by sharing information – not just sales and promotions. Offer a style consultation, send a link to a color blog or give your customers a useful strategy for improving their living space.
Whatever you choose, remember that today’s shopper is advertising adverse and convenience driven. Simply spend a little time thinking about ways you can benefit their experience with your brand. Then, buy your beacon kit.
Several companies offer all-in-one kits for proximity marketing. Plus, a few offer complete marketing services in addition to the actual hardware. Whichever option you choose, proximity marketing gives you tools to put down your megaphone. Use beacon technology to lean in to your customers and whisper something wonderful in their ear.
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