The NFC pioneer's NFC4All platform provides a wide array of in-store marketing and customer service apps designed to enable retailers of all sizes to drive traffic to stores, increase in-store transaction volumes and reduce lost sales opportunities.
NFC pioneer Narian Technologies has unveiled NFC4All, an NFC platform designed to provide retailers with a wide array of easy to use NFC-based marketing and customer service options.
"The applications go far beyond simple couponing and loyalty, driving consumer interaction at the most critical contact point — in the store," the company explains. "Overall, the suite offers more than 100 unique features and capabilities, all meant to bring about the store of the future — today."
NFC4All includes options aimed at sixteen retail market segments including restaurants, supermarkets, departments stores, hotels, stadiums and more.
Retailers who sign up for the service can pick and mix the basket of services they wish to offer. They then pay Narian a service fee of five cents each time a customer interacts with the system, Einar Rosenberg, the company's CEO, told NFC World. The service will be offered with a modest US$20 monthly minimum service charge and no set-up fee.
One app, for example, will let shoppers with an NFC phone tap a tag to request assistance. The system will then page a member of staff with knowledge of the particular product and will continue paging until a staff member arrives with the customer and has his ID card read by the customer's NFC phone. If it takes longer for a staff member to arrive than the store has set as its limit, the system will then switch over to paging the manager to alert him of the problem.
Applications like these, says Rosenberg, will make it attractive for retailers to implement the system now, even though few customers have NFC phones, since the system can help merchants reduce lost sales from day one.
With NFC4All, "without any coding anyone can create an NFC app," Rosenberg continues. Retailers will be able to visit the Narian portal, select the services they wish to use and customise the look and feel of their app to their own branding requirements using a simple user interface. Integration with third party systems will also be available and retailers will be able to export data from NFC4All and load it into their existing back office systems if required.
"Merchants can be up and running on average within an hour," says Rosenberg. "NFC is not just for payments, and it certainly isn't just for the Wal-Marts of the world. NFC allows consumers to interact directly with retailers, which opens up a world of possibilities — whether you shop at Target or the local corner store."
"We created a solution meant to put the power of NFC into the hands of small merchants, without the burden of heavy costs," he adds. "What we came up with was a platform completely scalable in both functionality and power that delivers the same value to all merchants, from mom-and-pop stores to the Wal-Marts and Best Buys of the world."
NFC4All is currently in invitation-only beta but Narian expects the service to be more widely available in the near future. "We have meetings set up with over eighty retailers," says Rosenberg. "Every retailer we've shown it to so far goes crazy for it."
The company is also in the process of establishing a network of Narian Certified Resellers who will be able to make the NFC4All platform available to retailers worldwide, Rosenberg adds.