McKinsey includes NFC tags in Mall of America technology showcase store

Inside of NFC shop with coloured ribbons hanging from ceiling
FUTURE OF RETAIL: Management consultants McKinsey have opened a “fully technology enabled” store in America’s largest mall

A new store in the largest shopping and entertainment complex in North America has opened as a testbed for the latest retail technologies — and products on sale have been equipped with NFC tags.

Shoppers can scan the tags with their mobile phones to easily find out more about products on sale.

Soon, they will also be able to use them to add items to a virtual shopping basket and then check out and pay with their mobile phone.

Modern Retail Collective is a “fully technology enabled” bricks-and-mortar store operated by management consultants McKinsey & Company in Mall of America, a 2.8m square foot (266,500sqm) shopping centre in Bloomington, Minnesota.

The store is designed to give retailers and brands an opportunity to test dozens of new technologies, McKinsey says.

“From the moment they enter, shoppers encounter various opportunities to engage with technology — from virtually trying on products in augmented reality mirrors, to scanning NFC tags to rapidly access product information from their phones without troublesome app downloads.”

The store is also set to offer new and faster payment options, including mobile and cryptocurrency capabilities, the firm adds.

“Modern Retail Collective will unlock the power of multiple technologies working together to cultivate [the] pioneering insights retailers need to transform their customer experience,” McKinsey partner Praveen Adhi explains.

“Through this project, we’ll produce cutting-edge data and analytics to help retailers define their own vision for their store of the future.”

The NFC tag system is provided by Compass Marketing and NFC specialist Smartrac, using Compass’s Smart Retail Label (SRL) Network and the tag maker’s Circus NFC inlays equipped with NTAG213 chips from NXP.

“With a simple tap of their smartphone on the SRL tag, customers are able to access product details, and in the very near future will be able to build a virtual shopping cart and check out through third-party integrated solutions,” says Smartrac.

NFC smartphone being tapped on sign in shop
TAP TO TRY: Customers can use their mobiles and NFC to find out more about tagged items and use augmented reality mirrors to “try” products