Over the last few years, there has been an undeniable shift in the shopping landscape for brands and retailers. The ways consumers are searching for, discovering, engaging with, and purchasing products has drastically moved from clipping circular coupons and waiting in long checkout lines to virtual shopping assistants and order online and pickup in store. No matter how you look at it, consumers are now in the driver’s seat of every stage of their shopping journey and their trusty little friend– their smartphone — is riding shotgun.  According to a recent study done by Phunware, mobile users now spend an average of six hours per day on their devices.  What’s more, nearly 50% of these consumers are researching products on their phone and then purchasing those products in-store. This shift has definitely redefined the shopper-merchant dynamic, and there is no sign of it slowing down. Quite frankly, mobile has become do or die for brands and retailers.

 

So, how can a brand or retailer survive and be at the forefront of the next generation of shopper engagement?

 

One of the trendiest strategies during this retail and digital shift has been proximity marketing. In fact, more than 42% of companies already have proximity marketing programs in place. Proximity marketing is the localized wireless distribution of advertising content associated with a particular place through tiny sensors called beacons. Transmissions can then be received by individuals on their smartphones in that location who wish to receive such notifications. While beacons have provided merchants a cheap and effective way to reach their consumers nearby or in-store on their mobile phones and offer them promotions, beacons have very limited functionality, are quickly becoming commoditized and are in risk of being replaced by alternative technologies. Furthermore, consumers are wanting more personalized, relevant interactions in store and out of store, such as local product availability information including reviews, pricing and inventory details for example, that beacons just simply cannot provide.

 

To look deeper into the additional layers of intelligence that make proximity marketing campaigns succeed, ShopAdvisor released an information-packed iPaper highlighting the key data points that are missing in most of today’s proximity marketing campaigns. The 5-step playbook dives into an array of tactics from pre-campaign product inventory analysis to shopper behavior and sales lift insights. This resource can help marketers look beyond just location and understand how adding additional contextualized data can have a greater impact on campaign results. The iPaper is filled with case studies and stats that will inspire proximity marketing strategies into the future.

 

Below we take a look at two of the five steps mentioned in the iPaper, which are crucial to deliver proximity marketing campaigns that motivate sales and loyalty. To jump right to the iPaper to learn more about all of the steps, click here.

 

Step # 1 – Do the pre-campaign leg work

Running a campaign without doing a significant amount of analysis before hand can more than likely turn into theTitanic of a campaign. Basic demographics cannot tell you a shopper’s brand preferences, optimal message times and purchase intent. Additionally, and most importantly, delivering ads and notifications to consumers promoting a product to be picked up in-store does no good if that actual product isn’t in the store. Seems pretty obvious right? Unfortunately, many brands, retailers and agencies are missing this one particular key data point when setting up their proximity marketing campaigns – and it’s costing them. To bridge this gap, product availability is determined prior to the campaign so that ad’s are only being served in relation to the stores that have the products in-stock. Check out one example of a company that used product availability intelligence to power their campaign in the right direction.

 

Step # 4 – Automate Campaign Adjustments

There are a lot of factors that go into a proximity marketing campaign, and sometimes, these factors can be unpredictable. Certain contextual data insights such as weather, time of day, travel patterns and seasonality all play a vital role in the success or failure of a campaign. Think of it like this, would you want to receive a Dunkin’ Donuts offer at eight o’clock in the evening for a free espresso shot with any drink purchase? Probably not, unless you were a student staying up to cram for midterms all night, where this promotion would be more than acceptable. Another example could be checking the 7-day forecast and noticing rain in the north eastern region for the next four days. As a retailer, this is a prime opportunity to target on-foot commuters with umbrellas, rain boots and rain coat promotions in the northeast. Factors like these often get left out of the equation but can add great contextualized intelligence to any campaign, which further enhances the relevance of the campaign to the consumer and result in deeper customer engagement and sales.

 

Interested in learning more about the additional steps and data points necessary for running a successful proximity marketing campaign? You can grab your complimentary copy of our iPaper here.

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