Enhancing In-Store Customer Engagement Using NFC Technology
By Beatrix Potter
Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is now heading into the mainstream where customers and public markets are starting to use it regularly, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. A 2020 global NFC user experience survey conducted by ABI Research showed that 44% or respondents used contactless technology either daily or nearly every day.
While the technology is very functional, it’s also a creative way to boost in-store engagement — if you know how. That’s precisely what we’re going to be speaking about today as we detail five ways you can do just that.
NFC for Creating In-Store Engagement
Let’s consider the in-store experience. It starts the moment your customers walk in and ends the moment they leave. Every single step they take is part of the experience you’re offering.
By using NFC, you can boost engagement in so many ways. As a matter of fact, according to Google, 82% of smartphone users say they consult their phones before they make purchases in-store so online resources can enhance the in-store shopping experience. Make consumers’ online activity in-store an opportunity to build a relationship, strengthen your brand, and drive sales by delivering on-demand product information, demonstrating beneﬁts, and providing exclusive oﬀers.
Cross-Selling Using NFC
Let’s say you own a clothing store, and someone likes what you’re offering, but it isn’t quite sure what they’re looking for. Through using NFC smartphone apps, you can allow people to see related and similar products, which is much more likely to help them find what they’re looking for and thus more likely to make a purchase.
Another example would be the customers coming into your store on a rainy day and using your app. While they may buy rain boots, you could cross-sell an umbrella. With an NFC tag on the product or in the package, you can give your buyers one-tap access to your e-commerce site to purchase other related items from you. Get creative.
Using NFC Tags for Streamlining Your In-Store Experience
“According to industry statistics, 67% of customers would prefer to use self-servicing in their shopping experience over interacting with a company rep. Moreover, 91% of customers would refer to an online website or data point to see information if it was available to check,” shares Nina Wilson, a tech writer at BigAssignments.
With this in mind, it’s essential to make sure you’re offering these services where you can, thus boosting engagement and potential purchases. For example, if you have a product like a sustainable, green product, you can position NFC tags that people can connect with via their smartphones so that they can see more information, provide feedback, etc. NFC tags embedded in product packaging or hangtags gives consumers a way to initiate an interaction with you. A tap of a smartphone and a prospective buyer can get the product information to help make a purchase decision.
NFC and Smart Payments
Of course, perhaps the most common way to utilize NFC technology involves payments. With 2.7 billion NFC-enabled smartphones in use today, it only makes sense to support NFC-based mobile payments on mPOS.
NFC payments are fast, simple, and secure. No wonder, with increasingly popular apps like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, more consumers than ever before are using NFC payment systems, and if your store isn’t offering this convenience, you could be missing out on a lot of business. This is especially true today when contactless technologies like NFC are becoming more important due to the Coronavirus.
“When introducing NFC payments into your store to your existing customers, you need to make sure people know that you’re offering a secure payment system that is safe to use, especially when using biometric security like fingerprint scanners, and they provide many benefits, like less queueing time,” explains Barry Turner, an NFC expert at AustralianHelp.
NFC and Customer Loyalty Schemes
Of course, traditional card-based loyalty schemes are still very much “a thing” and are very popular across the board in many industries. However, if you’re operating a loyalty program already, or you’re planning to have one in your business (which you definitely should), then using an NFC version could be the right move for you.
By offering a very streamlined and frictionless NFC loyalty scheme where customers can add points to their account, view what offers and discounts they’re entitled too, and what kind of benefits they can have, they are going to be much more inclined to come back and spend more.
Remember, you need to make sure your customer experience is as streamlined as possible, so you need to make things easy. The whole process should be as simple as swiping or tapping their card and/or smartphone. Anything more complicated or more time-consuming than this, and your customers are probably not going to want to use your scheme.
Want more? Read about the customer retail journey here.
Beatrix Potter is a writer at Essay Services and Academic Writing Service. She writes about NFC technology and loves helping businesses find new and creative ways to engage their customers. She also is a manager at Essayroo.com website and hosts networking meetings around the world.