On Sept. 27, 2019, Modern Retail Collective opened its doors within the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.
Designed and developed by McKinsey and Company, Modern Retail Collective is a first-of-its-kind retail store.
It offers customers a blended eCommerce and physical experience while providing retailers a turnkey space to test, iterate and learn from the latest retail innovations.
Through Smartrac's innovative NFC technology embedded in Smart Retail Label (SRL) tags attached to the consumer products, customers in the retail store can interact with an eCommerce-like platform through their smartphone and without the need for an app. With a simple tap of their smartphone on the SRL tag, customers can access product details, and very shortly will be able to build a virtual shopping cart and check out through third party integrated solutions.
The value of Smartrac’s RFID technology is further enhanced by Microsoft’s Cloud platform Azure, and the company’s tag data services to record and manage a complete set of unique transponder data (e.g. UID no., order no., batch no., or yield) at production level in a controlled and secure way. As the backbone of Smartrac’s core competency, its product digitization solutions enable full traceability of delivered RFID products and provide reliable quality assurance.
Smartrac’s CIRCUSTM NFC inlays equipped with NXP’s NTAG 213 ICs are the basis for the SRL tags used in the retail store. Currently, Smartrac is the only RFID inlay manufacturer providing NFC technology to this store.
The enhanced customer experience, supported by and hosted on Microsoft’s secure Azure Cloud, is the first major launch of the Smart Retail Label Network, a system of tech and marketing built by Compass Marketing, and intertwined to create a more transparent and informative shopping experience in brick-and-mortar retail stores. By simply tapping a smartphone on SRL tags found throughout the store, shoppers can enjoy app-less access to digital content for an enhanced buying experience in-store.
“Consumer buying habits have changed and the industry is just now beginning to catch up,” said John White, CEO of Compass Marketing, Inc. “They’re tired of just being talked at and are now looking to be an active participant in the conversation between the retailers and brands they are incorporating into their lives. SRLs make this possible through the mobile devices consumers are already using while in the store.”
“Just like our partner Compass Marketing, 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, as well as our services based on Microsoft Azure, 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,” said Amir Mobayen, president Transponder Division and chief revenue officer at Smartrac.
“Retail has long been overdue for a shakeup,” added Colin Wright, global solutions director at Microsoft. “Communication has been siloed for too long. The introduction of the two-way SRL Network enabled by Smartrac’s technology expertise breaks down this one-way dynamic and delivers to the customer what they want: active, real-time communication, and curated content.”