When Davor Sutja taps a product with his smartphone, it unleashes a torrent of information, everything from simple product specs to loyalty programs to information about the product’s journey to a customer’s home.
Sutija, who is CEO of Thinfilms, a company that uses printed electronics to enable smartphones to digitally interact with ordinary objects through NFC technology, said, “the value of a customer journey is not only in the store, but after the customer buys it and takes it home.”
Communication between products and mobile devices “changes the way we perceive IoT,” added Mr. Sutija during the “Retail: Convergence of Digital and Physical” panel at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Nick Jones, EVP of innovation and growth at advertising agency Arc Worldwide agreed with Mr. Sutja, adding, “The next generation will not understand why every object isn’t rich with information, and it will be.” He later went on to say, “millennials and younger generations are more familiar with the blended digital retail world. They see personalization of content as a value, and not an intrusion.”
“It’s about connecting consumers to a product they’ve purchased with experiences that provide relevant information,” said Victor Ortiz, director of mobile retail engagement, at Toys ‘R’ Us. “Enabling consumers to interact digitally with a product offers a lot of opportunities.”
Panelists also discussed how retailers will be able to connect with consumers through a product’s entire lifecycle and tailor one-to-one marketing programs based on real-time data gathered from products, whether it be during the research, payment, or post-purchase phases of the customer experience.