May 15th, 2014 | 1 MIN READ

Mobile Commerce: iBeacon vs. NFC [Infographics]

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Continuing our topic on beacons and in-store tech, this week's infograhic is twice as nice, with contributions form and a graphic of unknown origin found on Pinterest.

Beacons vs. NFC

  • Both beacons and NFC support mobile payments in-store.
  • Beacons are small wireless sensors that talk to smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), while NFC uses short-range radio waves to allow two devices to exchange information between each other at a short distance, without the need for battery power.
  • iBeacons have a 50 meter range, NFC's optimal range is 4 centimeters (164 feet, 1.5 inches).
  • Beacons can push content, such as offers, location data, or personalized recommendations based on a customer's preferences or shopping history. A customer must initiate interaction with NFC.
  • Not all phones have NFC, but most have Bluetooth.
  • NFC supports encryption, and its hacking risk is minimal due to its close proximity between devices.


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