The first step in incorporating proximity-based marketing and advertising in-store is assessing the needs of your customers.

  • How can you combine the needs of your customers with your business goals?
  • Do your customers want way-finding services? Product information? Touch-free payment?
  • Do you want to target customers in specific aisles, at discrete displays, as they enter, or as they leave your store?

These questions will guide you towards one of two types of deployment: Grid-based and Point-based.

Point-based beacon deployment:

What is Point-based beacon deployment?

Point-based deployment systems are perfect for engaging with your customers at specific places or points. This type of deployment requires fewer beacons than a grid-based system. Museums, public spaces, theatres, venues, retail shelves, and tourist attractions are all examples of environments with points of interest. In retail stores, customer proximity to a beacon triggers a push notification which appears as a coupon on their device. This style of marketing is context-aware and personalized. In a 1000 square foot store with three different use-cases, approximately 20 beacons would be required. The value of automating welcome messages, distributing coupons, and collecting customer opinions far outweighs set-up and hardware costs.

Initial drawbacks of Point-based deployments and hacks.

Beacons might not pick up signals from nearby smartphones. This can be solved by increasing the transmission power (Tx power) of your beacon. You can also decrease the broadcast interval.

Beacons might not display the desired content. Try removing physical obstacles around the beacon or increase the Tx power.

Beacon battery life is shorter than expected. Lower the Tx power until smartphone applications do not pick up on more than six beacons at once.

Grid-based beacon deployment:

1) What is a Grid-based beacon deployment?

Grid-based deployments are better at determining a customer’s position precisely in a tight space. A customer’s position can be calculated through trilateration using three or more beacons. This type of deployment does more for businesses, providing owners with analytics, indoor positioning systems, and way-finding capabilities for applications. Grid-based also wins out since it is “future-proof”. You can use the same infrastructure for a variety of use-cases. You can utilize grid-based deployments to monitor figures such as unique visitors, number of visitors, dwell times, footfalls, beacon interactions, and advertising click-throughs. How many grid-based beacons would we need for that 1000 square foot environment? Around 6 beacons would cover one area of the store. If you required three use-cases, you would need around 18 beacons –  comparable to the number of beacons in a point-based system.

Initial drawbacks of Grid-based deployments and hacks.

Your application does not register an accurate position. Unfortunately, this may require a bit of fiddling with the Tx power of your beacons. Also, be sure you aren’t crowding an area with too many beacons as this may be affecting your results.

Your beacons are overlapping and triggering more than one action at once. Reduce the Tx power of your beacons or increase the distance between your mounted beacons.

Final Thoughts: Highly precise systems are more expensive and complex but offer such a higher degree of flexibility for future growth and diverse use-cases.

Got Questions? Talk to us about your business goals and customer needs and we’ll point you in the right direction.


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