A definitive guide to beacon proximity marketing in car dealerships

Beacons have proven their worth in a lot of verticals like real estateretailhotels among many others.

So, can beacons be used in car dealerships as well?


Beacons are revolutionizing the way customers buy cars and engage with salespersons at dealerships. Let’s explore some of the ways beacons have broken the norm.


Why should car dealerships implement beacons?


Self-Guided Experience:

Beacons allow potential buyers to have a personalized experience. A beacon placed outside can push information about the dealership establishing total transparency and pique their interest. Other beacons placed near each car can delve deep into the features answering any general questions a buyer may have. This allows buyers to choose which car they want to know more about rather than having a salesperson suggest options.

Augmenting Salespersons:

Beacons can be used as an information powerhouse and assist customers much like a salesperson would. Instead of having a salesperson hovering over a customer, beacons can supply all the relevant information needed. We’ve already touched on how beacons work on the periphery of the dealership. A similar experience can be replicated inside. As soon as a customer walks in, they can be greeted by a ‘Welcome’ message sent via a beacon. While inside, they can explore different cars, book a service or call for a salesperson for detailed insights. All of these tasks can be achieved through beacons.

24×7 Service 365 days a year:

Imagine if your dealership could capture leads even when it is closed. Beacons make it a reality. A lot of potential customers may drop by when the dealership is closed. As soon as they come in the range of the beacon, information is pushed to their mobile device informing them about the dealership, and the kind of cars available.

A dashboard as intuitive as Beaconstac can inform the dealership if someone expressed interest in a certain car while the dealership is closed. Using an interactive form, customers can leave their details and schedule an appointment for later. Dealerships can also measure foot traffic during their non-business hours and fine-tune their campaigns.

Push Progressive Web Apps:

Progressive Web Apps(PWAs) are a culmination of websites and native mobile apps. A great way to engage customers and use beacon technology to its maximum potential is to push a PWA. There can be several different PWAs designed to service a customer’s specific need. Say, someone is looking for used cars. Once they enter the range of beacon in the used cars section, they can now start looking at all the used cars the dealership currently has.

PWAs have an edge over native apps since they don’t require an app download. Also, unlike a beacon notification, PWA does not disappear once a customer is out of range. They are also able to send push notifications that lead to more customer loyalty and retention. This also saves dealerships a lot of time and effort that would have otherwise been spent answering the phone regarding queries that the PWA can now answer.

Related: Why PWAs are the future

Targeted advertising:

The demographic that buys a Porsche is not the same as Volkswagen. So, one kind of advertising cannot satisfy all of them. But with beacons, one can create different campaigns that cater to different demographics. Fine-tuning the range of the beacon to lock down a specific broadcast area helps to display relevant notifications. So, someone who is looking to buy a Ferrari will not receive notifications about some other car.

Beaconstac’s Schedule Feature:

Just as the same advertising cannot be used for different brands, one single and repetitive message cannot be relied on to improve ROI throughout the day. With Beaconstac’s Schedule feature, different messages can be scheduled for different times of the day. Messages can also be altered when the dealership is closed or during the holiday season.

Retargeting on Facebook and Google:

Beaconstac also enables auto dealerships to retarget customers on Facebook and Google. All a customer needs to do is express interest in a certain service or a car by clicking on the relevant notification through a beacon. The Google AdWords and Facebook Pixel integrated with the Beaconstac dashboard let car dealerships show relevant ads to interested customers. The usefulness of this feature is evidenced by this case study on Mazda. They used retargeting and the value of car sales through the retargeting funnel was 98% higher than the offline average.


Examples of car dealerships using Proximity Marketing and nailing it

KIA of Bedford

This particular dealership caters to the customer’s demands – the need for total transparency. With the help of Waze and PureCars, they have been running targeted location-based ads and adapting to modern times.

Auto Ganza, Volkswagen dealer in Moscow

They have deployed beacons that help visitors explore the features and capabilities of cars freely and allow them to schedule a test drive.

Don Chalmers Ford

They use beacons that notify salespersons and customers about the location of a particular car. This also helps them identify if a car has been sitting around for ages using information from beacons that tell them if it has been moved or not.


Best beacon deployment strategy* for a mid-sized car dealership:


At an auto dealership, one or several beacons can be deployed to implement the aforementioned functions.

Outdoor beacons:

  1. For a dealership that is 10,000 sq. ft., 10 long-range beacons all around the periphery can be used for pushing information about the dealership.
  2. 1 short-range beacon every 20-30 meters should be tied to a specific car that sends out information about it.

Indoor Beacons:

  1. 1 short-range beacon placed at the entrance/exit to welcome the customer.
  2. Several short-range beacons tied to each car/section inside the dealership.
  3. Beacons in the service area to push the PWAs.
  4. Beacons that allow customers to seek further help from a salesperson.


*This strategy can be fine-tuned based on the specifics. It has been derived from the best practices from dealerships that have successfully deployed beacons.

Using beacons in the showroom and the outside of the dealership is a brilliant way of enticing potential customers by engaging them and letting them have a personalized experience. Not only is the load taken off of salespersons, but the dealerships also have an opportunity to adapt to newer technology leading to more sales, customer retention and customer loyalty.


The average CTR that one could potentially see in a showroom is 2.4% Talk to us if you would like to revolutionize your car dealership too. Beaconstac’s end-to-end solution comes with an intuitive dashboard that allows you to monitor all your campaigns at once.

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