“…this should be called Marketing to Shoppers, not Shopper Marketing.” Patrick Fitzmaurice, Principal at The Capre Group, stated this in his keynote opening speech at the Shopper Marketing Expo in Chicago. He went on to set the tone for a panel discussion emphasizing the need for retailers and consumer brands to work together to come up with solutions to make it easier for consumers to buy.

Another theme from symposium speakers was the need for innovation. Doug Van Andel, Global Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi X, gave an excellent symposium presentation about how great ideas only work when they get executed. He reminded us that

  • There are 30,000 SKUs introduced every year
  • Consumers are hit with 3,000 messages every day from all channels
  • It takes just 3 seconds to make an impact in store

So how will the marketing stimuli, based on shopper insights, engage the shopper in all this clutter?
He stated that “technology, combined with emotional insight, enables us to connect with people.”

On the Expo floor there were dozens of vendors offering measurable shopper insights, big data and omni-channel marketing solutions. Many catering to the need to bridge the gap between in-store and online, creating a seamless shopping experience, as we discussed in our recent KDM blog.

Considering that 76% of consumer’s purchases are still happening in-store and KDM is one of the top point-of-purchase (POP) materials and display producers- what caught my attention was the use of NFC enabled labels placed in-store on POP signage, displays, labels and packaging. Consumers can use their smartphone to tap a beverage coaster to get updated football scores, tap a recipe card to locate the ingredients in the grocery aisles, and tap a wine label to see the origin and history of where a wine was made. The possibilities are endless.

NFC- Near Field Communications Technology
NFC technology is not a new concept. It was developed about 10 years ago and has taken off in Europe, Asia and other countries such as Sweden. NFC is a short range radio frequency that provides a wireless interaction between two devices. Most Android smartphones are now NFC readers. To check your device:

  • go to your smartphone “settings”
  • select “more options”,
  • if you see “NFC”, then you are set

Unlike a QR code- a user doesn’t need to download an app or scan anything. You merely tap the NFC tag, and as long as you are within range- (about 1.5” plus), your device will automatically read it. The frequency works through plastics, laminates and all kinds of substrates, so it can be discrete. At this time, Apple has decided to keep NFC out of the iPhone.

Also, unlike a QR code, this technology allows the consumer to be in control. They can choose to connect, and with the shopper insights accumulated, provides them with a personal and emotional experience. Mobile NFC is a highly versatile technology that can be exploited by retailers in-store and at the point of sale. This whitepaper, Mobile NFC In Retail explains ways this technology can transform retail, providing an awesome shopping experience and making it easier to buy.