Proximity marketing: Offer a more personalized in-store experience

By the end of 2022, it is predicted that there will be 7.26 billion mobile phone users. Considering this, retailers need to step up their game and take advantage of this opportunity. While eCommerce platforms are always “upgrading” their marketing techniques, physical retailers seem to be a bit stuck in the past. 

However, technology is offering multiple opportunities to brick and mortar retailers. In this article, we are going to shed some light on one of these opportunities: proximity marketing. 

What is proximity marketing?

Proximity advertising, also known as mobile proximity marketing, is a type of marketing that uses the location of a user to market products and services in a more targeted manner. By finding and utilizing the location of the user, retailers and brands can provide personalized offers and promotions that will lead to increased sales. 

Offering personalized offers to customers can lead to a better conversion rate. 40% of people will spend more than planned when the consumer experience is personalized. Shoppers want to feel special and unique, they don’t want to receive the same offers as all of the other customers. With proximity marketing, retailers are able to offer more targeted and personalized offers directly in-store. 

Proximity marketing solutions

For proximity marketing, retailers should use a type of technology that can indicate the location of the customer and send offers directly on the device of the customer or in-store. Proximity marketing utilizes location technology (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) and allows retailers to connect with the shoppers if they have a smartphone. 

Here are some of the most common proximity marketing solutions:

QR (Quick Response) codes

QR codes have boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These codes are extremely easy to use and they don’t require a lot of technology. The shopper only needs to scan the code and can get a discount or a special offer. 

Many smartphones even have a QR code scanner embedded in the standard camera. For those shoppers who don’t have this feature, they can easily download a QR code scanner. 

However, the QR codes can’t offer personalized offers since all shoppers scan the same code. Another disadvantage is that the shopper is the one that has to make the first step and interact. 

WiFi (Wireless Fidelity)

WiFi can also be utilized as a new marketing channel by retailers. By offering free WiFi, retailers can target customers who utilize it. Retailers can collect data when shoppers connect to the WiFi network. 

Because shoppers share their data to log in, retailers can segment their customer base and offer personalized offers and promotions via push notifications. Even if the customer doesn’t log in to the WiFi network, the retailer can still use access points to collect relevant information like daily foot traffic. 


NFC ( Near Field Communication) and RFID (Radio-frequency identification) are two other great proximity marketing solutions for retailers. Both of these technologies work similarly. RFID tags have been used for product tracking and measuring the level of stock. 

On the other hand, NFC is a better, more evolved technology compared to RFID. With the help of NFC, customers can purchase products in-store, with the help of the mobile phone. 


Geofencing is one of the best solutions for proximity marketing. Retailers can use it to micro-target shoppers based on their location. In order to target customers, businesses need a geometric digital radius around their venue. If shoppers have their GPS location activated, they can be targeted with personalized offers based on their location in the store. 

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons

Beacons are no longer a novelty in-store. These devices have been used for a few years by retailers before geofencing evolved. Beacons can detect the location of the customer and can activate push notifications if the customer has an app installed on their device. 

How does proximity marketing help?

1. A more personalized experience

With the help of proximity advertising, retailers can offer a personalized experience to their customers in-store. Personalization is one of the biggest demands from customers in 2022. 

By offering a personalized experience in-store, retailers can increase customer loyalty and shopper satisfaction. 

2. More targeted marketing 

Since retailers can collect data from shoppers, they can segment their customer base and provide more targeted promotions. Shoppers are more likely to engage with a promotion that suits their needs. 

3. Boost sales

One of the most important goals in retail is to increase sales. With the help of targeted promotions and offers, retailers are able to boost sales.

Proximity marketing comes with many benefits if implemented properly. However, retailers need to keep in mind that shoppers might not like push notifications since they are considered a bit intrusive.

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