Beacons and Retail: A Recap of the Month of Proximity ROI

We’ve spent the last four weeks digging up the most useful and insightful use cases and white papers that we can find on retail and proximity, focusing on showing you the ROI of beacon deployments. Here’s a summary of what we’ve done.
Gaining insights into customer behavior drives proximity marketing motivation – according to BI, there will be about 4.5 million active beacons by the end of 2018, with 3.6 million in retail use. If you’re looking for the reason everyone’s saying that beacons are the next hot thing, you need numbers: conversion rates, revenue results and customer engagement. The good news is that we’ve published a lot of exactly that:


Context-aware, customized personalization.

In October 2014, Carrefour, a $20B market cap international retailer, partnered with PixelsTrade and to test proximity marketing with the goal of enhancing customer experience, boosting engagement and increasing sales with relevant data. Using knowledge of customers’ proximity, Carrefour welcomed customers individually when they entered the store, suggested products, and displayed coupons based on previous purchases. In just seven months, the number of customers downloading and using Carrefour’s app increased by 600 percent, while actual time spent interacting with the app increased by over 400 percent –and our other use cases demonstrate that this kind of result isn’t all that unusual.


Tailoring offers to the individual.

When Gino Rossi, a leading luxury footwear manufacturer, incorporated beacons into their already successful omnichannel platform, they approached it from the perspective of serving the customer first. Rather than arbitrarily using proximity to distribute random discounts and coupons, they tailored every offer to each individual based on his or her previous purchases and preferences. As a result, 98.5 percent of customers that received a personal notification continued to use the app afterward, and their context-aware notifications achieved a click-through rate of 85 percent.
For reference, that’s fourteen times better than the best click-through rate for hyper-targeted search engine and social media campaigns.


Reaching customers at the right place and time.

HotSpot, a Canadian mobile parking payment solution has also found great success as a proximity marketing company. They kill two birds with one stone by using beacons to manage metered parking for customers and also using those beacons to help present and target ads. This creates opportunities for retailers to drive conversions whenever a customer is parked nearby. And it works: by offering related perks like free parking and ticket validation, HotSpot stores can bring 30% of users who are parked nearby into their shops. By making parking hassle free, app driven visits to these stores last 13% longer as the visitors don’t have to worry about if their parking is topped up or not.
Learn more about HotSpot and download our whitepaper here.
Offering related perks like free parking and ticket validation for shoppers, 30 percent of parkers opted in to shop at those locations, and by making parking convenient and hassle-free, app-driven visits to those stores typically lasted 13 percent longer, ensuring more time spent to purchase products.
Download HotSpot White Paper Here


Howler, a proximity marketing solution, drives foot traffic to stores around some of the most densely-packed retail areas in the US using beacons. In Boston and Las Vegas, Howler found that hyper-local offers, targeted precisely to consumers’ interests, can generate 50 percent plus conversion rates for traffic passing by the store. Beyond that, by keeping offers relevant and local, Howler tracked an 89 percent engagement rate with ads (known as “howls”) after they are broadcast.


McDonalds rolled out a new line of iced-coffee beverages, but found that they weren’t being consumed as widely as they wanted. Using beacons and a locally-developed loyalty application, they offered a special mobile-only promotion to hungry customers in their stores to try the new drinks out. Their in-store conversion rate of 20 percent was impressive enough, but the real long-term value of the campaign was that 30 percent of the people who claimed the offer once used it again, demonstrating that context and proximity can change consumer behavior in real time.

Summary: The Win-Win

Proximity marketing not only has the capability to increase revenue,’s case studies repeatedly proves that contextual insights generate a higher return of investment by providing retailers with better data to drive targeted campaigns contextually, and that customizing offers to customers needs and desires consistently resulted in happier customers and higher profits.
How do you use beacons to grow your business and engage your customers?