Smartphones are rising as inseparable partners of shopping experience, and not just for eCommerce: recent data published byUnacast’s Proximity Marketing In Reatail Q1 Report, show that the number of installed proximity sensors has increased by 17% globally (from 5.103.500 to 6.201.000), among those, the number of beacons raised up to 4.998.500 units.
Beacons, small low-power Bluetooth devices that transmit information to smartphones and tablets, today represent one of the most popular technologies to explore proximity marketing. NearIT, startup from Bergamo – Northern Italy, moves along this scenario with a platform designed to enable effective, intuitive and in “real time” engagement with customers via mobile.
NearIT presents a simple, intuitive and efficient web interface to manage content in order to communicate at the right time to every potential customers, with context-aware targeted content thanks to a software development kit (SDK) which can be easily integrated in 10 minutes in any native app (Android and iOS).
How can the retailer of tomorrow get in touch with customers to improve shopping experience without becoming invasive? e We imagined 5 directories of proximity marketing development, described through five functions NearIT’s SDK is already able to integrate within minutes in every existing retail’s app.
1) Customized Messages on Mobile Devices
The customer who enters the store with the retailer’s app installed and the bluetooth on, is recognized by beacons placed inside the store – at the entrance door or in a specific department – and receives a multimedia message (a combination of text, images and video) that summarizes offers and promotions, focusing on categories of interest to present certain products or promoting events or campaigns active in store.
2) The Right Coupon at the Right Time
Right now, NearIT platform allows retailers to send discount coupons to customers, which can be used during the visit to the store.
In the future, the stores will be equipped with advanced systems that allow the customer who enters his favourite department (calculated through a database of recent visits to the store) to receive an offer – expiring the moment he walks out of the store – regarding precisely the category of his favorite products.
“Users choose which/how many data to share with retailers within the app after installing it” affirms Luca Locatelli, CEO and Founder at NearIT “Usually, retailers in the profiling process, focus on parameters such as customers’ sex or age, in order to form clusters that target different types of offers according to different clients (i.e. promotion on an aftershave). The next step is the introduction of virtual loyalty cards, an option aimed at improving user experience and formulating more targeted offerings.This will change significantly shopping experience, allowing mobile devices to become ‘personal shop assistants’ and being able to accompany the customer in the visit of the store, from the entry to the checkout, providing all the necessary information during the purchase decision process. ”
3) The End of Spam: Notifications Based on Client’s Interest Only
Through a process of segmentation, retailers can learn about app users and send custom notifications, this means sending only messages of interest.
This process is achieved by integrating existing CRM or processing the information that the user decides to share within the app. With customers’ segmentation, it is possible to go beyond the logic of spam-marketing and send targeted messages to any kind of audience
4) A Farewell to Low Appeal Offers
Retailers can have real time data about the reception and the effective use of virtual coupons sent, having the power to recalibrate the offers according to the more (or less) visited departments thanks to analytics tools. A solution that allows even smaller retailers to control the evolution of engagement of the ongoing campaigns in real time. Thanks to statistics provided by the platform, any retailer may change the target, type or duration of promotions.
5) Beyond Bluetooth: GPS Facilitates the Interaction With Customer
Since the current adoption of beacon technology is facing barriers that can slow down innovation spread, such as the physical installation of the transmitters (from retailers’ perspective) or bluetooth activation in the store (from customers’ one), NearIT is enriching its platform with new technological paradigms like Google’s Eddystone. Another new feature is the geo-fencing that allows engagement with the customer through a simple GPS tracking, operation required by default by different applications nowadays.
“Thanks to the great potential of proximity marketing we have strengthened our platform with an analytics tool which reflects NearIT’s mission, that is delivering simplicity and intuitiveness at every level” concludes Luca Locatelli “The platform has been designed to facilitate decision-makers tasks regardless of their experience in coding. We do believe that for this target it’s better to have a simple and intuitive platform that is complete and ready for use … in a snap!”