E-commerce has grown substantially over the last decade, but the fact remains that brick-and-mortar sales still account for over 90% of the retail market. For premium watersports manufacturers, Radar Skis and Ronix Wake (both subsidiaries of Square One Distribution), that story is no different. Like most brands, the fastest growing void between Radar and Ronix’s online and in-store sales was the data. While e-commerce provided Square One with actionable insights that could be gleaned in real-time through tools like Google Analytics, the physical retail world was still largely a black box.
While online shoppers are provided with informative features like product descriptions, size charts, how-to videos, compatible accessories and more, their in-store shoppers were often left in the dark. For the most part, brick-and-mortar retail data was limited to a floor manager’s follow up: Did anyone speak with that customer? Was the information they received accurate? No? Well, shoot… When it came to traditional retail, no sale meant no email follow-ups, no retargeting, no tangible insights for improving the customer experience and increasing conversions in the future.
Faced with these long-standing retail problems, Radar’s brand manager, Brooks Wilson discovered GoToTags and realized that NFC tags presented the perfect solution to bridge these growing gaps. When Square One first reached out to GoToTags, they had several legitimate concerns. Would adding interactive smart tags to their products be costly or cumbersome? Would they hold up to normal water ski use submerged in lakes or should the tags simply be incorporated into the skis’ retail packaging instead? Would they work for both iPhone and Android users?
“For brands like Radar this connection between physical and digital has yielded unprecedented control over how consumers understand their product and extraordinary insight into who their converting customers actually are.”
– Ramsey Brown, GoToTags Business Development
After understanding the unique complexities of Square One’s needs, GoToTags was able to recommend a specific NFC tag. A 22 mm clear wet inlay with NXP’s popular NTAG213 chip. In addition to being highly cost effective and compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones, these tags could be easily placed beneath the topsheet of each ski to ensure lifelong durability. To provide dynamic and evergreen functionality from the customer side, Square One leveraged the GoToTags Platform.
Platform encoded tags allow for:
Tag actions to be changed/updated remotely
Tag interaction data to be collected and pushed to external systems in real time for analysis
By tagging their skis and boards with smart, digitally interactive tags, Square One not only provides a more engaging and valuable real-world experience for their customers, but those customers are also providing them with incredibly valuable insights. Much like with Google Analytics, Square One can now determine who, what, where, when, and how their products are being interacted with.
“This evolution of Connected Things – of connecting our real world products to unique digital experiences – is nothing short of revolutionary.”
– Brooks Wilson, Radar Skis Brand Manager
Beyond just creating interactive digital experiences for Square One’s in-store customers, using NFC tags as a Connected Things solution provided valuable insights into the previously cloudy frontier of traditional retail. Square One now has a unique channel by which they can continuously communicate with their customers and provide post-purchase value. But truth be told, Square One has just begun to scratch the surface. Paired with smart tag features like scan counters, authentication keys and geo-fencing, brands like Radar and Ronix can use NFC tags to easily register post-sale products, verify authenticity, offer extended warranties, and push next year’s promo videos. With Connected Things, any physical product can now be connected to a curated digital experience that is more intelligent, more interactive, more trackable and ultimately more valuable than ever before.