The focus on certain mobile commerce technologies sometimes can be used in totally different ways from which they were initially intended.
For example, NFC (Near Field Communication) technology has long been the darling for mobile payments, especially since Apple finally adopted it in the iPhone 6.
But there are other uses for NFC, such as before and after the purchase.
A great example of this is how Adidas is using NFC in some of its products, as described during the OMMA at SXSW conference.
On the panel Wearable Ads: Marketing An Internet of Things, Jon Werner, innovation explorer at Adidas, described how the shoe and apparel company has been deploying NFC in some of its products.
Adidas did a pilot program in London, with NFC in the shoes, providing a smartphone message to the person if in a store.
Unlike with beacons, NFC requires a consumer to tap their phone on something, in this case the shoes.
And here’s the key: Adidas is building into that tap the history of a given product associated with the NFC tag in that product.
“It provides the ability for our products to speak for themselves,” said Werner. “We wanted the shoes to say ‘this is the history behind this product, the testing that went into it, the designers of the product and the back story’.”
Rather than a salesperson having to know the story behind each pair of shoes, the history is essentially built into the product itself via NFC.
The products can also track themselves – after all, this is about the Internet of Things (IoT) – and that information can be relayed back.
“It’s not just post-purchase capability, but pre-purchase capability, before it gets into the store,” said Werner.
The technology can provide real-time information, such as how much product is on the shop floor and if and when a shoe is picked up in in the store.
This is a shoe with benefits built in.
Conceptually, the shoes can self-track and based on miles run, suggest it’s time to get a new pair.
Other messaging can be provided via NFC, such as comparison tips from others considering or owning the same shoes.
The trick is the consumer has to tap their phone to the shoe.
“If we aren’t providing value behind that tap, they won’t tap,” said Werner.
Welcome to post-purchasing commerce.
Just a tap away.