High street shops are under a lot of pressure from tech savvier e-commerce outfits, but a group of town and city managers believes they can help reverse the trend by enlisting the help of NFC technology.
It is not a case of fighting fire with fire, though.
The Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), which represents close to seven hundred shopping locations, has teamed up with NFC loyalty programme supplier MoLo Rewards. They aim to enhance the town centre offer by integrating NFC support in a more traditional setting.
The goal is to provide local, independent shops some of the same capabilities used by major retail players, allowing them to compete with internet based competitors. The programme offers establishments in town centres to better integrate their services, combine reward programmes with free parking , access to leisure centres or events.
ATCM manager Guy Douglas told NFC World that the association decided to use MoLo’s approach after the outfit made the case for NFC and elaborated its ideas.
“It just made sense to us,” he said. “A town and city centre is only vibrant and thriving if people find a reason to go there. NFC is a way of delivering an enhanced town centre offer, which can only be a good thing especially when the high street is hugely challenged by e-commerce.”
ATCM chief exec Martin Blackwell said the association will use its two decades worth of experience to enhance the high street shopping experience, with support from MoLo Rewards. He added that the association is organising meeting with mobile network operators, card issuers and retail groups in an effort to shape the adoption of NFC technology.
ATCM and MoLo believe they could bring their integrated NFC system to town and city centres later this year.