Oxford Properties Uses NFC To Engage Food Court Customers

The customer experience in a food court is typically fast and easy. To increase linger time in its food court and generate awareness for its vendors, Oxford Properties executed an interactive contest using technology from Linkett across its Metro Centre, Royal Bank Plaza and Richmond-Adelaide Centre hubs in Toronto.

The “Savour The Rewards” campaign was crafted with guidance from The Mars Agency and technology from Linkett to entice customers and boost overall engagement.

“Part of the retail experience is keeping your audience engaged and converting their spend and time in a shop,” said Eva Kanovich, Asset Marketing Manager at Oxford Properties. “In a food court location, the consumer behavior is a quick in-and-out experience.”


To qualify for the contest, customers had to spend at least $5 at participating food court members. Then, they would receive a NFC-enabled loyalty card that would be used to redeem their prize at any unmanned kiosk. By tapping their cards against the kiosk system, customers would learn whether they won a prize, such as vacation for two at a Fairmont destination in Canada.

Whether consumers won or lost, they were encouraged to register their unique card codes, as well as their names and email addresses. They were encouraged to play again to increase their changes of winning.

“We’re increasingly looking for ways to digitize experiential marketing for our retail portfolios,” said Kanovich in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “From an overall retail perspective, no other competitors are using this type of technology, so we thought it would be a great foray into market. We also thought it would increase our audience in our retail locations.”

Engaging Customers In A Hectic Environment

Over the eight-day campaign, “Savour the Rewards” awarded 294 prizes to customers in its food courts. Approximately 82,000 pedestrians were tracked walking within 100 feet of the seven kiosks. Nearly 21% of these pedestrians were qualified as “walkers,” or consumers who “strongly registered the campaign.” 

Of all “walkers,” 9,141 were deemed “lookers” who actively stopped to look at the screens or register their cards. Overall conversion from “walkers” to “lookers” was 53%, and 68% of “lookers” went on to tap their cards against a kiosk screen to see if they won a price.

“The technology was able to capture how many people came in contact with or walked past a screen, and measured the amount of time they spent engaging with the messaging, which was critical to us,” Kanovich said. With the campaign, “we were able to increase favorability and familiarity with some of our brands.”

If customers did not interact with the kiosk, an interactive audio element solicited people to engage, which Kanovich believes “really impacted participation.”

Consumers’ active participation in the “Savour the Rewards” provided Oxford Properties with a plethora of customer data. The company received 1,394 unique registrations, receiving customers’ names and email addresses. As many as 2,443 cards were registered throughout the campaign.

The ability to interact with customers in real time and collect data about them was “fantastic,” Kanovich noted. Due to the success of the campaign, Oxford Properties is considering a second-phase initiative that is inclusive to all retailers.

However, this next phase is “contingent on the evolution of the technology and what we can do with customer data once we capture it,” Kanovich said. For example, she noted that because the NFC-enabled loyalty cards could only be used once, it was not an incredibly sustainable option. “There may be a way to use the technology for a loyalty card system or program, so that the NFC chip could work for multiple campaigns. That would increase the bandwidth of how the technology is used.” 




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