Over the past year we have seen a number of retailers in the UK begin to 'dip their toes in' and trial proximity marketing technologies. Most recently, we have seen one of the UK's largest supermarket chains, ASDA, join an array of retailers including John Lewis, Tesco and Waitrose, in trialling beacon technology across a selection of stores within the UK. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

This has demonstrated how marketers in the industry have seen the enormous potential afforded to them and the impact the subsequent benefits, such as an improved customer journey or increase in footfall in-store and ROI, has had within the retail technology space, according to Ian Malone, CEO for proximity engagement specialist Geemo.

Proximity marketing tools are not just a mechanism for delivering vouchers and coupons, but rather an innovative new method for retailers and businesses to better understand the needs and wants of their customer base, as well as notable patterns in buying behaviour.

As we look ahead to 2015, the increase in retailers trialling beacon technology should naturally lead to a change in people's perceptions as it highlights just how important effective engagement through mobile devices has become in this digital age of hyper-connectivity.

As the use of the technology gains momentum, and moves beyond trial stages, we can expect to see retailers go on to create proximity marketing networks that they can roll out across their stores. Some of these networks will be private - communicating to their own customers only - whereas some of these networks will be open, in a shopping centre environment for example, to allow other brands and companies to advertise to in-centre visitors.

Looking further ahead, once a retailer has created a network of beacons they will able to control what content is made available across a wider audience of both customers and advertising partners. These networks can also be used to gather a rich collection of data which in turn will enable retailers and brands to communicate better with their customers resulting in a positive impact on the bottom line.