In my opinion, the mobile phone is the most important conduit for retail omnichannel execution and NFC is the most likely enabler for a wide variety of smartphone applications.

That is what I said recently while on a panel at eTail East 2018.  Not one of the 100+ retailers in the audience argued against my statement.  In fact, my eTail East 2018 co-presenter Tony Drockton, CEO at Hammitt  followed my statement with:  “A mobile phone is a SUPERWEAPON.  If it (retailer’s mobile phone customer experience) is not in good shape, you (the retailer) will be found out!”

Successful Omnichannel Retail Panel at eTail East 2018 in Boston

My panel at eTail East 2018 was titled Integrating Online and Offline Marketing for A Seamless Shopping Experience.  After presenting to the audience of retailers – operators of both physical and online stores — as well as meeting with a number of companies during the expo part of the event, it became increasingly clear that NFC technology is at the edge of an upsurge of deployment in the retail sector. Along with Drockton, other panel participants were from the New Era Cap Company, Paul Frederick Menstyle and Valassis.

Stores are craving customer data and improved customer engagement.  Stores want to know who a customer is as soon as the customer walks through the door and they want their online customer journey to mirror the in-store experience.

And they are trying hard to figure out an answer to these needs and many other challenges that NFC technology can help solve.

This is why NFC on a smartphone for omnichannel execution is a compelling solution for this industry. I told them that by using NFC, retailers can collect more customer data and sell more products  — as long as the customer engagement offers value to the shopper and is not invasive.

Want a Deeper Dive Into Retail and NFC?

For more information on this topic, check out Thinfilm’s Matt Bright’s book NFC Mobile Marketing and download the soon-to-be-released Smart Ways to Stay in Touch Throughout the Consumer Journey with NFC white paper produced by the NFC Forum’s Retail and Payment SIG.