December 12, 2019

Why Smartrac is an obvious choice for McKinsey’s “Store of the Future”

McKinsey, a global consultancy powerhouse, recently launched its ‘Modern Retail Collective’ store to unlock the power of multiple technologies. It should come as no surprise that NFC is one of those technologies, and even less of a surprise that Smartrac is its sole initial NFC supplier.

For years, Smartrac has committed itself to helping its retail customers transform for the digital age. It supports retailers with innovative solutions for higher consumer engagement and loyalty, including an expanded portfolio of innovative, retail-optimized NFC inlays and tags that excel in versatility, quality and sustainability. It was these capabilities that caught the attention of McKinsey and Mall of America, who were looking to test a more frictionless, efficient way to engage customers in a physical store environment.

“Through this project, we’ll produce cutting-edge data and analytics to help retailers define their own vision for their store of the future.” — Praveen Adhi, partner in McKinsey's Chicago office and retail operations lead, Americas.

Supporting the modern retail collective
As a result, Smartrac had the opportunity to support the Modern Retail Collective, a store developed by McKinsey and Company and Mall of America, which opened its gates in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA, in late September 2019. Providing a perfect example of “change that matters,” Modern Retail Collective is a first-of-its-kind retail store that offers its customers a blended eCommerce and physical shopping experience while providing retailers with a turnkey space to test, iterate and learn from the latest retail innovations.


“Modern Retail Collective will unlock the power of multiple technologies working together to cultivate pioneering insights that retailers need to transform their customer experience,” said Praveen Adhi, partner in McKinsey’s Chicago office and retail operations lead, Americas. “Through this project, we’ll produce cutting-edge data and analytics to help retailers define their own vision for their store of the future .”

Smartrac's NFC technology for smooth and easy interaction
One of the latest retail innovations is based on Smartrac's Circus NFC inlays equipped with NXP NTAG 213 ICs. Embedded in NFC tags attached to products on the shelves of the Modern Retail Collective, Circus NFC inlays enable consumers to enjoy a digital customer experience that is revolutionary for brick-and-mortar stores. With a simple tap of their smartphone on the NFC-enabled tag and without the need for an app, customers are now able to instantly access product details, and in the near future will be able to build a virtual shopping cart and check out.

The importance of that experience can hardly be overestimated. According to McKinsey, 60 percent of consumer-apparel journeys include at least one digital touchpoint for research and/or a transaction. Research also shows omni-channel shoppers spend more, purchase twice as often and engage over longer periods of time compared to single-channel shoppers . Using NFC technology to establish a new communication channel for customers of brick-and-mortar stores obviously does really pay off – in stores of the futures and in those of today.

At Smartrac, we are strongly committed to providing the retail industry with the tools it needs to successfully tackle the challenges of the future. We are proud and very pleased that our high-quality NFC products have found their way into this store of the future, and we will reward the trust placed in us by deploying products that offer the utmost performance, reliability and quality.

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