Shoppers today expect more
It’s no secret that retail is evolving. This transformation and call to change celebrates retail environments that focus on the holistic customer experience. Unique, captivating, and convenient elements being integrated into a retail environment draw potential customers in and make them want to keep coming back. Exciting and engaging customers is of utmost importance for retailers, but so is making their experience convenient and efficient. As society and technology rapidly evolve, the long standing traditional success of the retail industry is being disrupted. Retailers must adopt and use those changes in tech and human behavior to it’s advantage in order to see continued success into the future. The strong presence of smartphones everywhere and integrating that technology into retail sectors is a major factor driving the revenue of the industry. What sets successful retailers apart from the rest is their ability to see how integrating technology to their environments, shelves, displays and packaging is extremely beneficial.
Now that 90% of smartphone owners use their phones while in-store and 2 of every 3 millennials attribute brand loyalty to online content, retail stakeholders need to blend the physical and digital world in a way that embraces mobile technology as a fundamental part of the path to purchase.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
Many consumers are familiar with a “tap and go” payment system to pay for all types of goods and services. From groceries, toys, plane fares, and hotel rooms, to tapping a kiosk in a metro station to gather train schedules and purchase tickets, smartphones are at the center of the universe. And the technology that enables it, Near Field Communication (NFC), is already embedded and uses proximity to create simplified transactions, data exchange and brief connections. NFC technology is not new to your smartphone. In fact, it has been therefor awhile and certainly has changed how we run our daily lives. Android first introduced it in 2010, while Apply took the plunge in 2014, but restricted it to Apply Pay.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is capable of two way communication, so payment (a debit or credit) for example, that works at short distances. NFC can be used more basically, to simply transmit set information from a system to a phone or tablet device. NFC has emerged as another valuable tool for gathering customer insights and transforming the shopping experience. As retail evolves, expect to see in-store NFC tags-on shelf displays, packaging, even on products themselves – that educate, entertain and motivate shoppers to consider and ultimately purchase the product.
The Possibilities are Endless
Accessibly Product Information
NFC tags help to create a simplified shopping experience, resulting in customer satisfaction and translating into increased customer loyalty. With a scan that takes under a second, promotional and other useful information can be downloaded into customers’ smartphones. Information can include product information, educational videos demonstrating the product, customer reviews, product availability, or even coupon codes. An additional pull toward NFC technology lies in the rise in corrupt payment activities that in turn has begun to encourage society to support cashless payments and adopt NFC chips.
Utilizing NFC chip payment methods provides a seamless payment facility in an affordable, easy, convenient, quick and secured manner. Several government initiatives in varying countries such as India have already seen several advantages of the implementation of digital payment by increased customer satisfaction, improved sales, reduced expenses and lessening of security need. Already the value of NFC-enabled payments in the U.S. has risen from $3.5 billion in 2014 to $118 billion in 2018, noting that the growth likely reflects consumer satisfaction with the speed, convenience and security of proximity payments.
Social Media Engagement
NFC technology can integrate wonderfully with social media marketing. With a scan of the NCF chip at the front of the retail space or anywhere around the store, a customer can automatically alert their followers that they are in the store along with a message to come join them. Tags at the store entrance can also be placed and a friend or “like” request for your company page will be sent to followers of that customers’ social media network. Social media is a hugely successful marketing tool and having a component in a retail space like an NFC chip that can directly bring customer’s to those platforms can be really impactful benefit. Increased social media following from potential and returning customers will in term lead more foot traffic to the store or brand.
By connecting well-placed NFC tags to the store’s backend system and arming sales associates with the right technology, retailers are setting the stage for a seamless, friction-less and positive shopping experience. NFC tags connect customers to their inquiries, that information pings the retailers backend system, and if in place, an orchestration layer analyzes in-motion data and then triggers the right information back to the customer. Simultaneously, that information is relayed to the in-store associate who now has insight on the customer’s inquiry, preferences, behaviors, and quite possibly, their purchase history.
Made.com is an online furniture retailer but has three UK showrooms which consumers can book an appointment to browse. Consumers use NFC technology on a tablet computer provided in the showroom to ‘scan’ items on show and purchase them online. This is a brilliant way of utilizing both retail space and online shopping within a brand. This model provides an “exclusivity” element to their brand by requiring customer’s to make an appointment at one of their three retail showroom spaces, which draws customers in with intrigue and excitement similar to the pop-up shop craze.
Elevating Brand Loyalty
Brick and mortar retailers offer an experience that is hard to replicate online – the personal touch, product demos, a guided selling process – and contact-less selling through NFC’s can help make that a profitable reality. The key is to create an emotional engagement between consumer and product, and there is only so much more to come that this can be achieved by using NFC technology. All in all, with technology being integrated into the retail industry there is the ability for retailers to create a whole new shopping experience that elevates brand perception and loyalty to a whole new level.
Is NFC Technology right for your next display project?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get further information on how Benchmarc can help integrate NFC technology into your future retail display!