Proximity Marketing Case Study: Safeway and Giant Eagle

Increase Customer Loyalty

Proximity Marketing Case Study using beacons

Safeway and Giant Eagle, both American supermarket chains, have recently implemented their own proximity marketing campaign using Bluetooth low energy beacons. The campaign has rolled-out in at least 200 grocery stores across Seattle, San Francisco and Cleveland. This article outlines their proximity marketing case study.

They had two main goals during their roll-out:

1) To better understand how shoppers move about the store
2) To deliver real-time offers of staple items, and offer loyalty points to add to the customer’s experience

Case Study Goal #1: Understanding shoppers’ behaviour

A beacon’s job is to send out a signal, whereupon the consumer’s mobile device picks up the signal and acts on it based on a set of pre-established rules within an app the user has downloaded. The beacon does not have to interact with the consumer, it can silently send information to the server letting the server know that the consumer has been in contact with a particular beacon. This means that the company can look at that information and see the consumers journey throughout the store, then plan their marketing strategy (and of course store stocking) around that information. This gives company the ability to create real-time, real world, real-relevant campaigns that their consumers will respond to, resulting in higher sales.

This mobile device is displaying the message found in this proximity marketing case study.  It has detected a beacon and is displaying a message.Case Study Goal #2: Deliver real-time offers

The beauty of a proximity marketing campaign is that it marries the benefits of a digital or online campaign while having an impact on the brick-and-mortar store. You receive the benefits of both worlds, campaigns are easily created and deployed, then you see the results. This means that if there is a sudden heatwave and you have a influx of consumers in your store – you can use the opportunity to offer loyalty points or offers related to sunblock and sun hats. We can see that in this proximity marketing case study the company delivers real-time offers by allowing the consumer the ability to collect loyalty points by purchasing a certain number of items, which results in higher sales.


We can expect to see more case studies like this one. Studies show that grocery retailers have a key market for proximity communication; their customers are open to receive value added, relevant communication and often have their mobile devices in hand as they use it to aid them with their shopping.

By offering the customers more than coupons, and also giving them loyalty points we can see that this campaign will help to shape the customers expectations around personalised shopping, which is clearly the way forward for shopping.