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GGP shopping malls swing open doors for 2016 beacon deployment

Mobiquity Networks is forecasting an uptick in location-based targeted offers this year, as evidenced by a significant beacon expansion within General Growth Properties’ shopping centers by the second quarter.

Mobiquity Technologies’ subsidiary is now the official provider of beacon-powered advertising solutions in GGP malls, which include Washington’s Tysons Galleria and Los Angeles’s Glendale Galleria. The collaboration suggests that beacon deployments in shopping malls and centers may become more ubiquitous in 2016, even more so than individual rollouts within standalone stores.

“GGP is the fifth major mall operator to become part of our network, and our network now has major mall coverage in more than 130 U.S. markets that represent 89 percent of U.S. households,” said Jim Meckley, chief marketing officer of Mobiquity Networks, Garden City, NY. “So, yes, we see this becoming a ubiquitous technology for major shopping centers.

“We believe that 2016 will see beacon technology just starting to hit its stride as a potent location-based consumer engagement tool. The applications for networks like ours will continue to grow as retailers and brands find new ways to integrate it into their omnichannel marketing mix.”

Heavy mobile footprints
The partnership with General Growth Properties awards Mobiquity Networks the status of having collaborated with the nation’s top three shopping mall property operators. The company is now the largest location-based application engagement and mobile advertising network for retailers in the United States.

Marketers with bricks-and-mortar stores within GGP properties will now be able to take advantage of beacons placed at various intervals within the shopping center infrastructures, giving them the ability to effectively target passersby with welcome deals and promotional news to drive in-store traffic.

For example, a shopper walking around the mall food court could be targeted with a push notification asking him or her to visit a Macy’s store 100 feet away for a chance to receive a 25 percent off discount.

This could be the extra push needed to fuel some consumers to browse and shop in stores they may not have been anticipating to visit before.

GGP malls, which also include Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center and Chicago’s Water Tower Place, frequently offer entertainment spots other than retail stores within their properties. Social hot spots such as movie theaters, ice-skating rinks and eateries will undoubtedly opt to leverage beacon technology to boost awareness of their locations as well.

Consequently, consumers who make a trip to a GGP center with the intention of shopping for apparel pieces may find themselves also enjoying a fun-filled day of family activities if they receive mobile notifications with welcome deals during their visit.

“We expect to complete our GGP network expansion during the second quarter of 2016,” Mr. Meckley said. “Of course, as soon as the installation is complete at each mall, that property goes live on the existing network.”

Location-based advertisements have long been a must-have option for many brands seeking to market to consumers in real-time.

While beacons were one of 2015’s top buzzwords, some experts believe other proximity-based targeting tactics could have their heyday this year as bricks-and-mortar retailers continue beacon pilots and uncover best-response solutions for their customers (see story).

However, it is likely that shopping centers will continue experiencing wide-scale beacon deployments. Rollouts within individual department stores or other bricks-and-mortar retailers may not see significant traction yet.

Nationwide takeovers
Beacon providers are still finding plenty of customers wanting to effectively bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds with targeted messages sent to the right user, at the right time. Mobiquity Networks’ presence has expanded to more than 475 malls, a feat which allows advertisers to access nearly 400 million shopping visits per month.

In a reflection of malls’ increasing desire to implement targeted mobile offer solutions, Mobiquity Networks partnered with Rouse Properties this past December, powering beacon deployments at all of its regional shopping centers (see story).

Meanwhile, Shopular is integrating beacon technology into its application to deliver personalized, contextually relevant offers to users while they are shopping in more than 320 malls (see story).

“Specifically from the GGP expansion, retailers will benefit from the additional scale – the ability to deliver campaigns that will impact a higher percentage of their stores,” Mr. Meckley said. “In digital advertising, scale is key.

“We were an attractive partner for GGP because we provide a single point of entry to extend campaigns across multiple mall operators – this makes it possible for retailers and brands to manage campaigns on a national basis.”