05/05/2016 01:10 EDT | Updated 05/06/2017 05:12 EDT

This is Why Retailers Must Invest In NFC Technology

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The digital era has been in full swing now for some time. Yet, many companies still have yet to invest in the latest tech. Near-field-communication (NFC) is one such technology retailers ought to consider as part of their marketing campaign. This method can be used to redefine the customer experience by bridging the gap between technology and everyday consumer interaction.

Here are 4 reasons why retail stores must invest in NFC tech in 2016.

1. Provide Cross-Selling Opportunities

With a scan that takes under a second, promotional and other useful information can be downloaded into customers' smartphones. Content ideas may include:

• Specs for a new item during its product launch

• Demonstration video

• Recommendation of similar products

For chain retailers, NFC can also be used to download information about product availability. If one store is out of stock, then it can provide a list of other stores within the vicinity that has the item in inventory. This increases the likelihood of customers immediately going to the same retailer in another location rather than potentially shopping at a competing store for the same product.

2. Increase Social Media Engagement

For a double whammy effect, integrate NFC technology with social media. There are dozens of social media apps out there that make good use of NFC tags. With a scan, a customer can automatically alert his followers that he's in your store along with a message to come join him. There is currently a Facebook app called Add Friend that automatically sends a friend request when two NFC-enabled phones come in close proximity. You can do something similar: set an NFC tag by your store entrance, and a friend or "like" request for your company page will be sent to customers with an NFC-enabled phone entering the premise.

3. Provide an Idea of What to Buy

This was somewhat touched upon in the first point. Employ recommendations so customers that buy X may also be inclined to buy Y and Z as well. An apparel store, for instance, can use an NFC tag that includes the latest popular clothing and accessories based on seasonal or celebrity trends. Likewise, a supermarket can install a tag with recipe information, so that a customer shopping for dinner will know the exact ingredients to purchase at the store.

4. Increase Time Spent in Store

The longer customers spend inside a store, the more likely they are to make a purchase. How can you use NFC to prolong customer stay? Consider multiple NFC tags throughout the store. These can provide video demonstrations or even coupon codes for a specific product. The key is to create an emotional engagement between consumer and product. Downloadable content should include a call-to-action and images or videos that elicit strong positive emotion, such as awe or inspiration.

Keep in mind that NFC technology is also used for making payments. Customers can simply scan the tag with their smartphone at the checkout line and be on their way. Just as you want to keep customers in the store for longer periods, you want them to quickly be on their way come checkout time. This prevents long lines that sour their shopping experience.

NFC Technology Is Quickly Gaining Ground

There is so much that can be done using NFC technology. You can create a whole new shopping experience that elevates brand perception and loyalty to a whole new level.

This blog post originally appeared on TTAG Systems' SMS Marketing Blog.

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