Are you taking proximity beacons seriously? If not, you should be, because Apple is taking them seriously and so is Google, via the Android OS. Proximity beacons, or what they can do, provide businesses the chance to interact with customers not just on the local level, but the hyperlocal level. In other words, you can communicate with customers inside the building, department or even aisle.
The profitability in achieving that kind of personalization is, frankly, mind-boggling. A substantial portion of the smartphone-owning public, a constantly increasing number, is willing to tell you where they are in exchange for more relevant marketing or deals. Although not proximity sensor driven, this is the same conceptual model Groupon employs by providing city specific deals in its emails.
Take a grocery store, for example. Few retail environments are so plagued by the problem of choice paralysis. There are countless brands competing or trying to compete for consumer attention and dollars. Without some compelling reason to do otherwise — such as conscious cost-cutting or a reason to believe another product will perform better — most consumers opt for their normal brands. This decision or non-decision lets them avoid the choice paralysis of trying to figure out, on the spot, which of the dozen or so choices might best serve their needs.
Enter proximity beacons and hyperlocal marketing. If you want to move a particular product or set of products, proximity beacons can help provide your customers with a reason to choose a specific product. Instead of waiting for customers to “discover” a product on the shelf, every customer with the appropriate software on their phone can receive a coupon for a product on entering the store. If you want to help move secondary products, messages or coupons can be delivered in the aisles. The previous tendency to grab the familiar is now offset by an opportunity for novelty at a reduced cost; two things that are likely to drive sales.
The trick, of course, is to keep track of the information. It’s not enough to simply send the messages. How many people are receiving the messages? How many people are using them? This is where a robust analytics 2.0 package, such as Apmetrix, becomes invaluable. Not only can it import the data and give you a real-time view of what’s happening in the store, but it can also help you track social sentiment about the deals on social media.