Amongst the many location-based marketing strategies (like) RFID, NFC, Quick Response Codes, Proximity, Geofencing that are highly dependent on using the location information of a smartphone device; in other words, the availability of a user and their smartphone in a designated area. Location based marketing in very simple terms means to leverage the location information of a user’s smartphone and then sending relevant marketing communication to them. This communication is sent in the form of push notification that appears on the lock screen of their phone through the PinCarts App.

As far as other location technologies are concerned, there are several considerations, regarding efficiency, compatibility, cost effectiveness, hazards to health and environment, awareness and mass acceptability, ‘proximity’ leads the list. Others might not give competent results or check for all of the above criteria; also, proximity marketing is the best strategy for location awareness due also to it being economical in nature. There’s barely any major cost factor involved, other than the hardware (beacons) – which again is only a one time investment, that will give lifelong returns on investment. Also, the battery life of beacons is very effective – once installed, the coin battery of the beacon will not exhaust for at least 2-3 years. 

What is location awareness?

In modern marketing practices, especially those that begin and end with the smart consumer, time and location is of high importance, because of the relevance it provides. The Millennial shopper definitely values a better service over faster service; not that time isn’t valuable anymore, but quality of service tops it all. Location awareness in very simple terms implies establishing a temporary (yet meaningful) connection between a shopper and a business, via the GPS connectivity through geofencing the location and location feature on users’ smartphone/s.

What do you mean by proximity marketing?

The word ‘proximity‘ in very simple terms means closeness or being in the vicinity of something and being able to connect – in this case, do marketing do customers or potential customers (physically) closer to your business. Leveraging the exact location of a customer via their smartphone (either through a Bluetooth connection or GPS), physical businesses [like fashion stores, designer stores, shopping malls, high street stores, restaurants, hotels, airport terminals, hospitals, events and conferences, etc.] can track and target customers with relevant, specific and timely communication.

Benefits of proximity marketing

Contrary to popular misconceptions about the technology of beacons and even geofencing, proximity marketing is one such idea that does not invade consumers’ privacy or interrupt them while shopping. Also, beacons will only send push notification messages on users’ smartphone screens, not really annoy, disrupt or manipulate what they shop, how they shop. In fact, bringing relevant offers to their attention is economical; giving product information is useful and showing store navigation on the App is purposeful. Bluetooth signals are packet data short range signals that do not pose a health risk whatsoever. Proximity marketing can be called as being omnipresent, because, once inside its range, the shopper is enclosed by it.

PinCarts intends to create an engaging shopping experience for shoppers inside retail outlets, hence the idea of proximity based marketing; not really intend to ‘target’ them or bombard with nonstop generic, irrelevant messages. To be able to do this, is precisely why the Bluetooth and location awareness from customers is sought as a cooperation (shoppers always have the option to opt out). 

Ease of use

As simple and easy it is to use proximity marketing for shoppers and consumers, it is equally simple for retailers as well. Just installing beacon devices, configuring them* and geofencing* the store locations as per their requirement, is the only preparation needed.  All the other tasks, of tracking, targeting, measuring or management up to generating reports, is the task of the server and technology back-end. No manual operations are required. Once the dashboard is set up by PinCarts, it is relatively simpler to use and manage. 

Of course, proximity marketing is a concept that does not work independently, it works only in tandem with a supporting mobile app. Smart, uncomplicated interface of the app will also make sure customers are engaged to find, search, discover, see, swipe and do other activities on the app once they have downloaded the same. Even though simple, the app also has a smart outlook, with actual images of the product, stores, and geo-navigation assistant too, along with cab booking, store directions and a lot more. 

Cost effectiveness

It is revealed by users of proximity marketing, that installing beacon hardware and geofencing the store locations, is at least 5 times less costly than other location based technologies. Which means that even small and medium enterprises can install beacons and leverage proximity marketing technology without worrying about the costs involved. That is great news for smaller stores, that require very few beacons, the geofencing area covered can be large and ROI can be really great – upto 8% with a scope of expansion in near future.

Making the right choice about a technology partner is imperative to any retail business who wishes to leverage proximity marketing per se. That’s the first and foremost, and the most important step toward using proximity marketing and its benefits for any physical retail business.

*PinCarts will take care of beacon installation and geofencing in all its partner stores.  

Why Proximity Marketing Beats All Other Location Technologies
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