What is proximity marketing?
Proximity marketing is a type of marketing activity that leverage proximity technology to identify, target and activate marketing communication within a proximate location.
For example, a toy company can install proximity marketing near a child playground, and send out phone messages to the iPhone users within 100 metre to offer a toy coupon to drive sales. The technology has been around for a while, but yet to explode its true impact in shopping experience.
Challenges of brick-and-mortar retailers
Brick-and-mortar retailer facing a huge challenge from the raise of e-commerce. As a leading e-commerce country, Chinese’s offline retail channels are shrinking in recent years, especially the fashion and consumer electronic retail, and it have a big impact on the business of shopping centres too.
So, what’s left with the offline retailers? Does it means all retailers should move their business to online and accept the low margin with heavy price competition?
Of course not. But we need to better strategize and redefine the value and roles of physical stores vs online business.
Service and holistic shopping experience
There are still many added values the brick-and-mortar shops could offer the customer where online stores can’t.
There are few critical tactics retail store should master in order to add values and stay competitive vs online offers.
1. Retail space shopping experience
2. Customer Service
3. Instance Satisfaction
4. Brand Loyalty
Role of proximity marketing
Here I will not spend too much time to elaborate the retail tactics, but focus to share a few points on the role of proximity technology.
The question is, could proximity marketing technology add consumer values in brick-an-mortar shops? Could it play an important role like e-commerce intelligence on online shopping platform to help sort, compare and recommend best value for consumers?
As state in previous paragraph, the brick-and-mortar added values will need to focus on the physical & psycho-social benefits that consumers could not get from online.
Integration of mobile and big data technology in proximity technology
With the popularity of mobile technology and big data, I believe proximity technology will become more sophisticated to help create and design a more unique shopping experience in-stores.
If the proximity technology embedded in more locations and connected to users social media, shopping and internet browsing history, mobile GPS and style preference etc, the activation of proximity marketing message or shopping experience will be more relevant and higher sales conversion rate.
Proximity technology combining with your travel and personal preference big data, it will soon able to activate user based personalize shopping experience in physical stores, e.g. the shop assistants will bring you your preferred style, color and suitable sized dress to you the moment you enter the shop door.
It might sounds like scientific movies, but these experience might be the only chance to attract loyal customer and pay for the premium margin.
Many international brands are working hard to create unique shopping experience in-store to build better brand experience and loyalty. However, there is still a long way before those local Chinese retailers to innovate and disrupt the brick-and-mortar retail experience.
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