Strategies for proximity marketing that drive the customer journey

The customer journey is composed of the five key shifts a prospective buyer experiences on the path to purchase:

  1. Awareness: When a customer acknowledges they have a need to fulfill and conducts initial research. 
  2. Interest: When a customer seeks out more information on the options they’re interested in purchasing. 
  3. Consideration: When the customer narrows down their options even further, seeks out more detailed information, and begins to compare competitors against each other. 
  4. Intent: When the customer has made the decision to purchase. 
  5. Evaluation: When the brand experience is contemplated post-purchase. 

Proximity marketing—using GPS, geofencing, beacons, mobile apps, and other technology—has emerged as an effective means to facilitate the customer journey. A number of different strategies can be employed, each augmenting a different stage of the purchase process.

Geofencing Moves Customers From Consideration to Intent

One strategy involves building a virtual fence around a geographic area—like a competitor’s store—and targeting the audience within those boundaries. Retailers can even geofence their own stores to control the messaging within these locations. 

Whole Foods saw a 4.69% post-click conversion rate when they targeted users near competing grocery stores with mobile ads. This rate represented triple the industry average.   

Geofences can be employed to refine mass marketing to more targeted campaigns. For instance, boat motor manufacturers may target marinas, and coffee and donut shops may target nearby gas stations to encourage consumers to make a pit stop while they’re on-the-go.

Personalization to Move Customers From Evaluation Back to Intent

Once a person has interacted with a brand, beacon technology can be used to gather data and better personalize future communications. Eighty-percent of companies reported seeing an uplift after implementing advanced personalization, with many even reporting a $20 return for every $1 spent. Personalization can work at virtually any stage of the buyer’s journey, but it works especially well for those looking to sustain and engage repeat buyers. Customer feedback solicited through a loyalty app can be added to a customer’s profile for later use in segmentation and targeting. 

Top retailers are using proximity marketing to ensure highly personalized shopping experiences. For instance, Japanese retailer PARCO pulls data from geosensors, loyalty programs, mobile apps, and rooftop weather sensors to send customers highly personalized offers and discounts. This strategy resulted in a 35% increase in store visits, 25% increased purchase rate, and 8% increase in repeat visits. 

Data Use to Drive Customers From Awareness to Interest

Proximity marketing technology uses transmitters like Bluetooth to capture valuable in-store shopper movements and behaviors that can be used to identify how aware the intended target market is of a brand/product. Consumer knowledge can range from being completely unfamiliar with a brand/product to being extremely familiar with it. This insight can be used to make meaningful decisions when it comes to positioning a brand/product in a way that most effectively caters to the targeted market’s level of awareness. For example, you may find that consumers are spending most of their time in the Home Goods section, therefore you might consider adding more products, or moving this to a prominent part of the store.

The data can also be used to understand what appeals most to the intended target market and how the offering can best be positioned as the solution to the customers’ needs. By collecting consumer behaviors, you can create strategic campaigns that could increase the chances of them moving from the awareness phase to the interest phase. 

Contextual Interaction Affects Consideration and Evaluation

proximity marketing customer journeyProximity marketing serves up relevant messaging based on personal interests and physical location. A person’s location within the store and finer details (how much time they spend in a certain aisle, how many times they’ve visited this aisle in the past, which items they pick up and consistently purchase, etc.) may provide a contextual clue into their shopping patterns and behaviors, which retailers and brands can then use to drive the consideration phase in their favor.

For instance, a shopper who frequently travels down the cleaning products aisle and is faced with a large assortment of options can be targeted with a branded video that compares the top cleaning products, moving them from the consideration phase to the intent phase. They can be further encouraged to choose a certain option via interactive activities that are incentivized with rewards.  

Even after the purchase has been made, POS data can be used to inform retargeting. For instance, a shopper who buys a shirt in-store today might be interested in a mobile push notification for matching pants, triggered when the shopper is in close proximity to the store again. One study found contextual ads generated 43% more neural engagement and 2.2x better ad recall. This all contributes to a shopper’s evaluation of the brand experience, creating a positive association that will encourage repeat buying behavior. 

Utilize Proximity Marketing to Influence the Customer Journey With a Mobile Marketing Platform

A mobile marketing platform provides an intuitive way to dive into the different proximity marketing customer journey strategies available. Shopkick uses in-store beacons to send contextual offers and engage prospects with “kicks” (rewards points). Shoppers earn kicks by engaging with partnering retailers and brands through select activities, like walking into participating stores; watching promotional videos; browsing curated lookbooks, scanning barcodes of products in-aisle; and making online or in-store purchases. Once enough kicks are accumulated, they can be redeemed for a gift card of their choosing. 

Partners also gain valuable consumer behavior data that can help inform campaigns and personalize offers.

The opportunity to engage shoppers when and where they are most likely to buy pushes prospects further along the customer journey.

Using proximity-marketing strategies, Shopkick has driven over 300 million store visits and has rewarded shoppers with 29 billion kicks for engaging with well-known brands and retailers. 

Want to see how proximity marketing strategies positively impact the customer journey? Read our success stories and contact Shopkick to find out how affordable and easy it is to partner with our popular rewards platform.

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Image courtesy of Roman Samborskyi



Shopkick is the fun and easy way to earn free gift cards for the shopping you already do. Download the app now!

Strategies for proximity marketing that drive the customer journey



Shopkick is the fun and easy way to earn free gift cards for the shopping you already do. Download the app now!

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