Proximity Marketing: 3 Reasons Online Retail Businesses Should Care

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Today, marketing is all about covering all the crucial touchpoints to interact with customers and engaging them in the process. We have all heard of multiple types of marketing that brands use to capture the ever-dwindling attention of their target market.

Proximity marketing is one such marketing strategy to reach out to potential customers with advertising content on the basis of their location. Whenever a mobile app will come within a specific location, Bluetooth or NFC will identify the location where the messages can be triggered. Now, a question may arise in your mind – what if the location tracking is disabled on my device? 

Well, proximity marketing doesn’t make use of a single technology. It can actually be carried out using different technologies such as NFC (near-field communications), Geofencing, Bluetooth, RFID, and Proximity ID. Also, you need to understand that proximity marketing is not limited to smartphones.

GPS-enabled laptops can also be targeted through proximity marketing. One of the best examples of proximity marketing is to target advertisements to customers that are physically close to the product.  

The retail industry is facing intense competition. As a result, businesses have to adopt the latest marketing strategies to keep up with the changing times. At first glance, it may seem that proximity marketing requires significant investment in technology but that’s not the case. 

Here are 3 reasons why online retail businesses should pay attention to Proximity Marketing. 

Customers are Always on Their Phones 

It is not brand new information that customers these days are not paying attention to brands. They are paying attention to their smartphones. Be it listening to today’s specials in a restaurant or trying out a brand’s clothes, they are on their phones. About 47% of Gen Z shoppers use their smartphones while shopping in brick and mortar stores. This number is only set to rise in the coming years. 

As an online retailer, you may be fighting a battle against eCommerce giants such as Amazon. But you are losing the attention battle to Instagram, Facebook, and even emails. If you are thinking that posting more on social media or sending promotional emails is the way out, then you cannot be more wrong. Your message will just get lost in the sea of unending noise. 

To get through to the customers, you need to get in front of any mobile app that has their attention. The best way to do that is to send a push notification precisely when their attention is needed the most i.e when they are near the business location or inside the store. People do pay attention to push notifications and they are an effective way to get the message across. 

The Competitors are Playing Their Cards Right 

Irrespective of whether you adopt proximity marketing or not, the competitors are going to. In fact, as per Business Insider, more than 50% of the top retailers in the USA are already experimenting with the marketing concept of using beacons. While it is being predicted that retail will account for a significant number of beacons in the coming years, proximity marketing is becoming a common practice in restaurants, casinos, museums, stadiums, festivals, and even grocery stores. 

The key here is that your competitors are not only driving sales by displaying proximity-based offers, they are also setting up for long-term success through data. Data is one of the biggest reasons for the effectiveness of online marketing

As brick and mortar stores have little data they are forced to guess the reasons for the increase/decrease in their sales. The game changes for brick and mortar stores if they take advantage of proximity technologies like beacons and combine the same with online data from Facebook or commercial data sources like POS systems. 

The Line Between Online & Offline World is Blurring 

Amazon and other eCommerce giants have successfully changed the course of the retail business in the past few years. But they have not been able to completely take over the brick and mortar stores. These organizations can never completely deliver the experience of shopping from offline stores. 

As purely eCommerce cannot work alone, the future of commerce is a multi-channel strategy that is a perfect mix of online and offline worlds. Are you wondering how is this even possible? Haven’t we already heard of the concept of placing orders online and collecting the goods from offline stores? This is the perfect example of a mix of the online and offline world. 

The businesses that are adopting the perfectly balanced mix of offline and online stores will get the best of both worlds. They will have the benefits of brick-and-mortar stores like instant ownership, personal touch, easy returns, and try-on. On top of that, the knowledge and data they gain from their online presence. Both offline and online stores now go hand in hand. As a result, proximity marketing is going to gain more popularity than ever a few years down the line. 

Final Words 

The ever-evolving competition in the retail industry makes it almost essential for businesses to adopt the latest sales and marketing strategies. The concept of proximity marketing may be young but it is definitely worth the attention and hype. When the global retail industry is still experimenting with the concept, this is the right time to adopt it in the business and get an edge over the competitors. 

All said and done, proximity marketing seems to be a profitable idea overall but there are also many ways in which it can go wrong. However, we will leave that for another blog to discuss. So, before you start planning and implementing proximity marketing with the help of app developers for your online retail business app, it is always better to know the pitfalls along with the benefits. 

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