In-Store Marketing and Internet of Things (IoT)
Created on September 30, 2015
Large and small retailers are always trying to identify new ways to gain a competitive edge. Additionally, they seek ways to improve revenue per square feet and same store sales. At their disposal are a variety of techniques and tools. They include marketing via offline and online channels. These methods help drive traffic to stores but how do they upsell customers who are in-store?
What about proximity marketing? Proximity Marketing has existed since the introduction of Bluetooth technology almost 15 years ago. Unfortunately, the medium never quite achieved its potential of success. But, like many aspects of technology, things have changed recently and the concept of Proximity Marketing has resurfaced and been renewed.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is the core technology behind beacon technology. Beacons are semiconductor chips that emit messages or notifications. They are usually housed in small enclosures, approximately the size of a donut and can be attached to any fixture or product. Once affixed, the beacon can be programmed to deliver messages where marketers can target their clientele.
Bluetooth Low Energy is transforming Proximity Marketing because it’s a low cost item and its supported by both iOS and Android platforms. NFC or Near Field Communication is also a proximity marketing solution. It has a shorter range compared to BLE’s which ranges up to 200 feet. It was unsuccessful primarily because iOS never supported the technology making it useless to retailers. Fortunately, for BLE, smartphone platforms have unanimously supported its passage.
In order to setup and operate a comprehensive in-store marketing strategy, one needs an IoT Platform. Companies such as NetObjex have SaaS based platforms where marketers can register devices or integrate Enterprise Gateways to legacy IT systems. They can also configure rules & notifications, analyze data through dashboards and/or setup marketing campaigns.
Marketers believe that beacons are the new standard for proximity marketing. Beacon notifications can delivered in many forms including but not limited to text, images, or URLs and sent to consumers within the store. For example, a beacon at the edge of the store can be used to greet customers and prospects. They can also send coupon notifications. For example, a notification of an on-going sale can be sent to a consumer who would otherwise be unaware of an offer for 10% discount on Nike shoes. Thus, proximity marketing can shape consumer opinions, upsell them on certain goods, or even create a means for disposing unwanted items.
Without a comprehensive platform to setup and manage all aspects of in-store marketing through Internet of Things, it almost impossible to coordinate such an endeavor.