Beacon, NFC and infrared

For some time we have been talking about proximity marketing and beacon technology capable of intercepting and communicating personalized messages to people based on their location.

It is a real frontier that leads online marketing to contaminate reality and everyday life with strategies that become in fact omnichannel.
Webrooming, or the consultation of brands on the web, is inextricably connected with offline shopping experiences.

Push me!

Proximity marketing is based on sensors (for example, beacons, NFC connectivity and radio frequency identification) which, once a device is detected, sends a pulse.
By placing the detectors in strategic places, you can then communicate with customers’ smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy).

You will set up innovative strategies within the store by sending push notifications containing videos, messages, photos, links and other content to the user who is in proximity.
These messages are usually additional features of a native iOS or Android app that the consumer has already downloaded from the stores.
The device, through the app, is recognized and registered in the systems and activates the message as soon as it reaches the range of action of the beacon system installed in the store.

Not only marketing

Beacons can also allow you to collect a lot of useful information and statistical data.

If you use this technology you can “follow” the customer inside the shop, monitoring the most visited areas and the time spent.
The more data is collected on customer habits and purchases, the more personalized offers will be with a consequent increase in the probability of purchase.

With sensor-based technologies, you therefore make the online and offline purchasing process more fluid as well as creating customer loyalty.


In light of recent changes, doubts that come naturally when it comes to proximity marketing are those relating to data protection and user privacy.

If you want to use this new and powerful method of communication, you will need to ask the user to read and accept all the terms and conditions.
Clearly and transparently specify the purposes for which the information collected will be used.
An explicit consent is therefore required before any notification can be sent.

One of the most impactful innovations introduced with the full application of the GDPR was the introduction of the legitimate interest as a legal basis that allows the owner to carry out a specific treatment. As a data controller you will therefore have to make a declaration that justifies the superiority of your interests (or those of third parties) with respect to the freedoms and fundamental rights of individuals.

If you follow these rules, you will be able to take full advantage of this potential-rich marketing strategy in your store.
Marketing messages increasingly personalized according to purchases and user habits, discounts and promotions for those who go to physical stores by joining the proximity marketing service and many other benefits, will entice passers-by to stop and choose your store during a shopping day.

Case Studies

Amazon opened its physical store in January 2018 in the United States.
The store has cameras, beacon devices and other proximity sensors, used to monitor goods and improve customer engagement. Using this technology, purchases are debited directly to the Amazon account, without going through the cashier for payment.

IKEA, in the Austrian store in Graz, has installed some beacons in strategic areas of the store. Using the IKEA Family app, notifications are sent to users. From welcome and goodbye messages, to offers for lunch or a coffee break, to the reminder to use the loyalty card at the cash desk.

The Time for Redding company presented the first “talking sofa” at the Salone del Mobile.
A microchip installed in the seat structure recognizes the device of people approaching and sends information on the product, on maintenance, with contextualized indications also depending on external agents such as weather and seasonality.

The Rotary Club in Friuli association has created an app that allows people with visual impairments to receive audio descriptions of the works in museums or exhibition spaces, near beacons placed close to a painting or a statue.