The retail market revolves around several moving parts. It is hard to find a single technological solution that can help all these retail aspects, including exchanging product information, inventory management, self-checkout, and theft protection. However, these applications require the use of popular technologies from which a wide customer base can benefit. RFID or NFC is such proximity technologies that are being useful with each passing day and similarly, more gadgets support it. In the previous few years, the majority of smartphone manufacturers have equipped their phones with NFC communication capability.
Accessibility on the finger touch with NFC-enabled smartphones
NFC-enabled smartphones are straightforward to use. Therefore, they can substantially contribute to a better consumer experience. Retailers can leverage NFC tags embedded in their products. Customers can simply use NFC-enabled smartphones to scan and read the tag to gain the information on their cellphones. NFC’s quick accessibility can allow customers to make quicker decisions and yield higher sales for retailers.
Applications of NFC-enabled smartphones
NFC-enabled smartphones can eliminate the need for a separate NFC reader. There are several ways through which NFC-enabled smartphones can create value for the retail industry.
- Product information:
NFC can make shopping fun for users as all they require is a tap from their NFC-enabled smartphone to know detailed information about the product. Allowing them to make better purchase decisions while setting correct product expectations. NFC could perform the same task as a human sales executive.
- Cashless payment & Self-checkout:
Cashless payment has been a specialty for NFC technology. Apart from being secured and proven, NFC-based smartphones could directly allow the user to pay for the purchase with self-checkout. Such a provision would eliminate long queues and allow complete privacy to the user to purchase anything.
- Asset tracking in the store:
NFC can help the staff manage items and assets in the store where NFC-based smartphones can be used to identify the exact place or shelf where the item should be stored. Such asset tracking and management can be helpful in massive retail outlets.
- NFC to record time & attendance:
NFC-based smartphones can also be used to manage the workforce. NFC can be used to keep a log of employees in-out times to manage attendance and track productivity.
- Customer engagement:
NFC-enabled smartphones can create customer engagement post-sales. NFC would introduce a mobile app in customers’ smartphones, that app can later be used to share offers, news, and rewards to engage with customers.
- Access control for staff:
Often retail outlets have to closely monitor their management, surveillance, and stock rooms to ensure that customers don’t end up accessing them. Access control is one of the key use cases of NFC where an employee’s smartphone can act as a key when entering exclusive zones.
NFC offers a unique advantage for retail applications as the majority of smartphones are now compatible with NFC. On top of that, the majority of features can be implemented with the help of a simple mobile app. The mobile app can act as a medium for the brand to connect and communicate with customers directly. These use cases of NFC can be helpful for various processes of retail marketplaces from customer experience, productivity, sales, and post-sales customer loyalty programs.