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City of Norwich enables proximity marketing for retailers

By Retail Technology | Tuesday July 1 2014

A government funded initiative will help the City of Norwich drive engagement on the high street through mobile connection with customers

The City of Norwich plans to connect consumers with high street retailers through the use of mobile technologies in a bid to drive engagement and loyalty.

The UK’s Technology Strategy Board has awarded funding to Proxama, a proximity commerce company, to roll out mobile proximity marketing and loyalty services across the city to help attract footfall to its town centre.

“The prospect of Norwich being at the forefront of innovative smartphone development will position it as one of the UK’s first ‘Connected Retail’ cities, future proofing the high street for its consumers and businesses,” said Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID.

Government funded pilot

This connected high street government funded initiative will be piloted in Norwich city centre and a successful conclusion will open the doors to a potential national and global roll-out.

The project aims to validate the role of mobile proximity services for high street retailers through to national chains, using mobile technology or 'Proximity Engagement Points' such as Near Field Communication (NFC), QR codes and Bluetooth beacons. 

The project also aims to enable shoppers in Norwich to discover and purchase new products as well as sign up for incentives such as coupons, discounts and loyalty services.
 
“Our mission is to equip local high-street businesses with the tools that they need to reach their full potential, further benefitting the towns and cities they are located in,” said Martin Blackwell, chief executive of the Association of Town & City Management. “We recognise the economic and social importance that these new technologies can bring to areas like Norwich and believe that the success of this project will inspire and lead the way for developing future-proofed towns and cities nationwide.” 

Proximity engagement points

Consumers can interact with proximity engagement points throughout the city by using their smartphones to scan or tap relevant tags, or by entering beacon-enabled zones. Once connected, relevant messages and incentives provided by the retailer community will be presented to consumers that can then be used in-store. Consumers will be able to decide whether they want to opt-in to receive incentives on their first visit before choosing to receive highly personalised interactions on repeat visits.  
 
Out of Home media (OOH) and transit based media will also be enhanced for mobile engagement by the deployment of NFC, QR codes and Bluetooth Beacon technologies so that consumers can engage with the service whilst travelling into and around the city.

The 'Connected Retail Service' based on Proxama’s TapPoint platform, will enable local businesses to engage with their customers through a “Norwich City Aggregation Wallet” and will also offer them the opportunity to build their own mobile app. 

Both services will provide real world 'call-to-actions' to provide contextually relevant incentives that can be used by the consumer when they visit a participating store.

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