More Marketers Use Proximity Tech, Beacons, to Get Closer to the Action - eMarketer

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More Marketers Use Proximity Tech, Beacons, to Get Closer to the Action

Beacons are widely embraced by some industries, but still face challenges

September 1, 2016

More marketers are turning to proximity technology in an effort to better target customers and gather more information on customer behavior. In fact, the widespread embrace of proximity tech is even more clear when examining its use by various industries.

Number of Beacons Deployed by Proximity Solution Providers Worldwide, Q2 2015-Q2 2016 (millions and % change)

Based on July 2016 research by Unacast, more than 50% of organizations connected to the retail, shopping mall, hotel and tourism, airports or sports stadium industries use some form of proximity technology in their marketing efforts.

While there are a number of technology methods for implementing proximity marketing solutions, so far beacon services have been the most widespread, followed by GPS or geofencing. In Unacast’s study, which investigated the types of proximity technology services offered by proximity solution providers, 94% were offering some form of beacon services in Q2 2016, while another 54% were offering GPS or geofencing solutions.

Industries that Use Proximity Technology According to Proximity Solution Providers Worldwide, Q1 2016 & Q2 2016 (% of total companies in each industry on Unacast's platform)

Although it’s increasingly clear that proximity technology like beacons is gaining widespread adoption among marketers, that doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to use such tools effectively. According to a February 2016 study by Retail Systems Research into the implementation of in-store beacons among US retailers, only 23% of respondents had implemented them and were satisfied with the process. Another 22% had implemented in-store beacons but were planning a change, while another 32% had only reached the planning or budgeting stage.

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