Near field communication technology is being used to boost value and exclusivity for customers.
Fashion NFC tags have come a long way since the first time Adidas used the technology for its shoes in 2014. Now, almost a decade later, brands are seeking to provide customers with an expanded digital experience using near field communication technology.
The tech has become essentially ubiquitous in web3 ecosystems and among luxury brands.
While NFC tags have become quite commonplace, not all brands that have invested in the technology have successfully integrated them into the digital experience they have to offer. Moreover, not every brand that has successfully managed to get customers to use the technology has managed to create a digital experience that suits what customers want.
“For most brands, connected products are something they’ve never had before,” said Blue Bite connected product company co-founder Mikhail Damiani. Blue Bite has worked with a spectrum of known fashion brands ranging from Adidas to Bulgari in order to develop their near field communication technology product offerings. “Once a product is purchased and somebody walks out of the store, the brand goes blind as to what interaction is taking place with that physical product.”
Early integrations of NFC tags were clunky and unappealing for users, forcing brands to look to new strategies.
Today, some brands and retailers are still linking to their e-commerce sites instead of providing customers with an added custom experience with brand benefits unique to the use of this technology. Since each tag costs between 10 and 40 cents (depending on their scale, manufacturer and type), improper execution of the integration can prove to be an expensive mistake.
However, proper implementation can prove to be highly rewarding. For instance, Bulgari used the technology by embedding it into all its leather goods since 2021. As high-value products, the NFC tags made it possible to verify that the product is authentic and not a fake being passed off as real. Fakes have become a nightmare for many luxury fashion brands, and simple verification technologies can make it much easier to control copycats.
Moreover, before the Bulgari product is even purchased, the near field communication technology offers an in-store experience. Customers who scan are provided with information about precisely how and where the product was made.