NFC likely to have most impact on retail marketing

QR codes will be a “stop gap” until NFC enabled smartphones reach a critical mass – at which time NFC will have far more impact on the retail landscape.

5 January 2012 – In recent times the retail experience has become ‘connected’, with companies using digital signage and QR codes to communicate with customers via their smartphones. However, such technology and devices could soon become obsolete with Near Field Communication, or as it is more commonly known, NFC, predicted to make the greatest impact in the world of retail.

Commenting on these developments, Mark Bartlett, Managing Director of Signbox Ltd, who have recently rolled out a range of Enlighten NFC smart posters, said, “QR codes can be viewed as just a stop gap until the number of NFC enabled smartphones in use reach a critical mass, and that will not be far away – recent research indicates that NFC chip shipments will surpass 1.2 billion units by 2015, the same year the technology is expected to reach a 30% global smartphone penetration.”

Interestingly, a new report by ABI Research forecasts that by 2016 70% of NFC tag shipments will be utilised in smart posters or for other marketing uses, with retailers able to embed the technology into advertisements and a variety of other marketing collateral.

This trend supports other recent research that the NFC market is moving away from a focus solely on mobile payments towards marketing uses. And it’s not just store owners and campaign managers that will be able to deliver tailored and customised messages direct to target audiences via their NFC enabled smartphones with a simple, fast swipe of a poster. NFC technology is also presenting opportunities for information delivery in a wide variety of industries including Property, Leisure and Transport. A phone can read an NFC tag through glass, which enables business to stay ‘open’ 24-hours a day allowing consumers to tap their mobile phone to download an entire bus timetable, restaurant menu or details of a property even when a business is closed. When a smartphone becomes a portable NFC reader the possibilities are endless and very exciting.

Certainly a key driver that will fuel the growth and take up this technology is that it’s likely to be hugely popular with consumers because by its nature NFC is ‘opt in’ unlike Bluetooth and location-based services, providing consumers with more control and countering any concerns regarding privacy.

To find out more about the range of Enlighten smart posters by Signbox – visit

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Issued on behalf of Signbox Limited by Next Step Marketing Ltd

Media enquiries to: Heather Lambert

Tel:  44 (0)1256 472020
Fax:  44 (0)1256 471010

About Signbox

Drawing on architectural and engineering experience, Signbox develops high quality, sustainable and fully compliant signs for the built environment.  Signbox is an innovative company creating future-proof products for a wide range of market sectors, including corporate, education, healthcare, retail, hotel and leisure.  As a single-point resource Signbox offers consultancy, signage strategy, design, manufacture, project management and installation.


About Us

Next Step Marketing (NSM) is a marketing and communications agency based in north Hampshire. The business is headed up by Denzil Lee. Prior to setting up NSM Denzil spent 11 years as Director of Marketing for National Boat Shows Ltd (London Boat Show & Southampton Boat Show) and before that held other senior sales and marketing roles with two FTSE 100 PLCs. He has been a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing since 1992, gaining Chartered Marketer status in June 1999. In November 2006 he was made a Fellow of the Institute. Since 1992 he has also been a member of The Marketing Society. We have worked across many different sectors with extensive experience of both consumer and B2B campaigns.




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