At Apple’s annual developer conference recently, Apple announced they’d be opening up access to Near Field Communication (NFC) to developers. Apple users are familiar with NFC technology as the “magic” that lets Apple Pay work. The technology is also present on transit systems such as the London Tube (Oyster Cards) or payment technology such as VISA PayWave or MasterCard PayPass.

Starting in iOS 11, developers can use this technology to read any NFC card/device inside the app. A user will be presented with a “scanning” interface to find additional data. The opportunity this represents for savvy retail brands is huge. Savvy retail brands have been using this technology for Android devices for a few years, and now they can do the same for iOS users.

As an example – A retail store, such as a large department store may choose to have NFC panels beside product displays that when scanned give the user more information about the product. Scan a pair of 2017 White Yeezys to find out more about the shoes, or scan a Tommy Hilfiger shirt to find out more about the fit. A shopper can literally scan any NFC enabled item (typically in the form of a placard) to detect and bring up item information. This is really a new form of barcode.

So with this shopping information right in the app, it can be helpful to feed those interests into a CRM and Carnival to perform messaging based on the scanning experience. Let’s say it’s been five days and I still haven’t bought the above shirt, perhaps I get a rich push notification with a picture of the shirt, and a coupon for 10% off. If it’s been a month and I’ve yet to get the Yeezys, perhaps I get an email with details on where to purchase the limited stock, with a 5% discount.

If retail brands adopt the new wave of NFC and capable reading devices, and combine that to enrich a profile of a shopper, some very powerful messaging can enable many more purchases and a noticeable lift in sales.

Our tech team is up to date with the new NFC improvements in iOS 11 and are ready to help you integrate. If you’re a Carnival customer and want to integrate these new changes, simply get in touch with your Customer Success representative. If you’re not a Carnival customer but want to learn more about how we can help you exceed your mobile marketing goals, contact us

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