Backers Look to Range of Devices for Contextual Commerce, Though Fragmentation Will Pose Challenges

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Promoters of contextual commerce are looking to a range of connected devices, including smart appliances and such home hubs as Alexa–along with a host of mobile devices–to enable consumers to pay in almost every context. But many challenges remain for what could become a “very disjointed” array of payment options, experts say.

Use cases for contextual commerce span in-store shopping, online commerce and product discovery and browsing on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Besides paying from Internet of Things devices, mobile payments and mobile shopping are also key parts of that ecosystem, say industry observers.

For example, Pinterest is using a technology called Lens, which allows consumers to take a photo of an item and then run a search for similar or related images in the Pinterest mobile application. Consumers can then get product information or make purchases from the search results.

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