Proximity Marketing: How Beacon technology is revolutionizing the retail world


Although it's been around for a while in American malls, Proximity Marketing only began to be appear recently in Spanish shopping centres.

This new consumer habit is made possible through the use of small bluetooth devices called Beacons, which are discreetly placed in physical stores and allow data exchange in real time with users of a mobile application. All of this with the purpose of creating an Omni-channel experience, where customers benefit from the support of mobile technology when making purchasing decisions.

However, Proximity Marketing still presents great challenges in order to be adopted by a majority of smartphone users. This post proposes to address the benefits of Proximity Marketing for both users and physical stores, despite the difficulties that stores and shopping centres still face when trying to implement Beacon technology to interact with their customers.


Benefits for clients, benefits for stores


Beacon technology presents a number of benefits for both physical outlets and end customers. Consider, for example, the possibility of notifying a buyer of a new promotion. The store wins in that it can liquidate its promotion, and the client wins in that it receives in his mobile phone relevant alerts at the right moment (unlike TV ads that often fill us with irrelevant messages). When it comes to advertising budgets to promote a product over the Internet, Beacons also come in very handy. What's better for an advertiser of fragrances than knowing that a user saw your ads on the internet and then ended up buying the product in a store?


Smartphone usage in a Shopping Mall


To be relevant, Proximity Marketing requires that visitors to a physical store use their smartphone proactively during the purchase process. However, the reality is that most of us only take our phone out of our pocket to research a product and read opinions about it.

This means that, to this day, mobile phones are to a large extent absent from our visits to physical points of sale.

Hence one of the greatest challenges of Proximity Marketing: making mobile phones become an essential tool during our visits to physical stores.


But how can we achieve that?


Apps that really help customers


Most users need a good reason to download an App on their smartphone. And even more so if it is an application that requires to have bluetooth activated and that sends notifications, something that can be intrusive.

Now, if we propose to these same clients a mobile application of augmented reality that allows them to quickly geolocate their favorite brands in our store, they may decide to use our App.

Knowing the frustration that we've all experience at some point in a shopping centre going from one aisle to another looking for a specific product, an App of that type can end up becoming an essential tool while shopping ... 


There is no doubt that Proximity Marketing is about to play a fundamental role in remodeling the shopping process in physical points of sale. However, there remain significant challenges in creating an attractive user experience that would lead customers to rely more and more on mobile phones when they go shopping.

Although the augmented reality technology necessary to facilitate the location of products in physical stores already exists, let's not forget that many users do not have state-of-the-art smartphones capable of taking advantage of this type of technology.

One thing is certain, just as many drivers today would never consider going on a trip without the support of mobile phones and applications such as Google Maps, tomorrow's buyers will increasingly depend on their smartphone to find products and receive promotions. in physical stores.


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