Tag Archives: Cloud

Creating cloud-powered user experiences in retail

Customer demands are changing – and fast. To keep up, retailers need a flexible, scalable platform that grows with their business, as we find out from Xomni

Creating cloud-powered user experiences in retail

This article was first published in the Spring 2015 issue of OnWindows

It could not be more critical for retailers to bridge the gap between digital and their bricks-and-mortar stores than it is today, says Xomni CEO Chad Brown. “When you think about what the store does for the online channel, and vice versa, it should be about creating a sense of continuity,” he explains. “Bring those channels together and you truly maximise your return on investment, and satisfy the customer.”

Xomni – a company whose name stands for ‘Experience Omni-channel’ – is achieving this vision through a cloud-based omni-channel experience enablement platform. The company caters for creative interactive agencies who want to leverage the Xomni Cloud to gain access to retailers’ existing systems, add new data sources (think IoT), orchestrate the data and leverage a consistent API to develop applications. Xomni Cloud also incorporates retail-specific functionality that makes building visually rich concierge, assisted selling and self-service applications easy.

“The idea of using a cloud platform to develop applications isn’t new,” says Brown. “However, we are not talking about one-size-fits-all applications. The Xomni model is unfettered UX and scenario development that enables contextual and personalised experiences without compromising massive scale. If our channel partners can dream it, they should be able to build it.”

This March, Xomni launched the third generation of its cloud platform, complete with significant scalability enhancements. “We base our performance requirements on what a retailer might experience during peak shopping days,” says Daron Yondem, CTO of Xomni. “For example, a tier-one retailer’s requirements include 60 queries per second and 11 gigabytes of data. With the release of Xomni Cloud v3 we can scale well beyond the industry’s current need.”

Cost effective and quick to implement, the solution incorporates a blend of typical retail functionality along with some novel capability designed to accelerate innovation.

One such feature is OmniPlay. Highlighted in a recent GameStop win, OmniPlay allows individual assets, product views or the customer presence to be passed from one device to another, assuming certain rules are met (geofence, beacon location or device capability). In this implementation, video content can be initiated from a consumer or associate device and sent to a 4K display in store, significantly increasing the ROI of a passive digital sign by making it interactive.

The GameStop experience is a compelling one, however, as Brown notes, one challenge that Xomni faces is the perception of complexity. “The term omni-channel inspires thoughts of user-centric, integrated, immersive and, by connection, complicated experiences,” he says. “First, Xomni makes integration with existing systems easy; second, although Xomni provides a seemingly endless list of features and supported scenarios, no one said you must use them all in one application! We encourage the use of what we call ‘micro experiences’ to engage customers in a meaningful but simplistic way. From there, you can encourage a deeper engagement.”

With the launch of Xomni Cloud v3, all the tools are there to build deep ‘macro experiences’ and more pointed ‘micro experiences.’ Version 3.1, which is targeted for a June release, will build on this thanks to the adoption of API Management – a new feature of Microsoft Azure.

“APIs bring innovation and agility, and at the same time drive a lot of data that can and should be used to improve user experience,” says Evgeny Popov, principal program manager at Microsoft. “That is why we teamed up with Xomni to deliver a powerful end-to-end retail platform.”

“Really, Xomni Cloud v3.1 should be called v4 as we consider it to be a major release,” adds Brown. “It’s significant for many reasons, but primarily because it will allow us to easily incorporate super innovative third-party technology partners such as My Style Genie.”

A new Xomni Technology Partner, My Style Genie is an expert in dynamic recommendations and has technology capable of putting together coordinating products that are highly relevant based on personal style, preferences, use, or even margin. “Through this partnership, retailers are able to provide the high-touch personalised service of days gone by in store, mobile, outbound or online,” says Laura Khoury, CEO at My Style Genie. “Our web service enables retailers to serve shoppers as a trusted personal assistant to help them find the best products for them, and suggest complete ensembles tailored to their objectives and style. The result is a win-win experience – customers are delighted with the personal service they receive and retailers have increased basket size and customer loyalty.”

Behind the Xomni-My Style Genie integration is thebigspace, a specialist in retail consumer engagement and connected experiences. “Our Omni-Channel Style Guide application needed the power, speed and flexibility of Xomni and the dynamic integrated analytics of the MSG recommendation engine to quickly analyse data,” says founding director Dick Lockard. “Working together, we’ll be able to optimise the customer’s buying decision and create highly targeted and relevant connections while maximising profit for retailers.”

Of course, as Brown knows all too well, the future of retail is always evolving. “The question is, what’s next?” he says. “If anyone tries to tell you definitively what the future of retail engagement is, they’re making it up. No one knows! This is why flexibility is core to our platform. We’ll involve the best partners, give them the utmost flexibility and see what great things happen!”

What Do YOU See In The Clouds? – The Future of Cloud Powered User Experience

Why do most “cloud based” SaaS companies take a highly templatized, one-size-fits-all approach to User Experience Delivery?

In the forthcoming release of OnWindows magazine I’m going to talk about the risks of taking such an approach and the value of adopting a more flexible model which respects the creative process.

Updated 4/10/2015 with OnWindows Article: http://bit.ly/1Eho4nk

In the interim, please meet some “like minds” or as we commonly call them, XOMNI Channel Partners:

If you are interested in Omnichannel Experience Management with a focus on UX flexibility and extreme performance, let’s connect and share stories.

Chad Brown | XOMNI

So… you want to collect private information on a public device do you?

Private_Public_Cloud

This is a common problem in retail and extends to many industries. You’ve successfully engaged the customer with an innovative and interactive public device, now you want to take the conversation to the next level. Perhaps authorize a social activity, collect some personal information or complete a monetary transaction. This is where you will likely lose your customer.

XOMNI has solved this problem via the cloud as a secure orchestration mechanism. Imagine a scenario where the customer’s mobile device can be leveraged at any point in the public experience to provide a secure, private and efficient input experience for sensitive information. The XOMNI Cloud Platform solves this problem in a very eloquent way, empowering developers to easily integrate such a solution into their applications.

If you have desire to dig a little deeper don’t hesitate to reach out to sales@xomni.com for more information.

Cloud + Creative for Retail Experience

The Future of Retail Experience

Highly templatized one-size-fits-all solutions are not the future of retail. Come see Vectorform present a Cloud + Creative model to building Retail Experiences. These seamless omnichannel experiences are not just visually appealing and engaging. XOMNI powered experiences are backed by the Cloud offering extreme scale that’s easy to deploy and manage.

Vectorform will be showing off a new universal application they developed which will help those wishing to build rich XOMNI powered experiences get a head start.

Limited space is available. If you are in the Boston area don’t miss it! Sign up here.

Glasses Free Eye Tracking in Retail

If you are a follower of our blog you know we are a huge fan of enhancing user experience in omni-channel assisted selling scenarios. We craft our APIs around cutting edge experiences to help our agency partners and retailers enable new type of interactions. If you did not have the chance to watch yet I strongly suggest not to miss our demos from NRF 2014 where we showcase a glasses free 3D In-Store experience and the Omni-Play, Omni-Discovery features we are very proud about.

So you might ask “what’s the next step forward?” and the answer might be “Eye Tracking.” Today with the help of EyeTribe Eye Tracking device it is possible to track eyeball movement without the need of special glasses. The device can be easily incorporated in an in-store experience and our XOMNI APIs will give you all you need to enable eye tracking in retail.


Glasses Free Eye Tracking in Retail

Eye tracking is one step ahead of multi-touch and/or gesture recognition. It can help you track subconscious behavior without letting any additional hardware requirement or glasses. We think this is just a small step forward getting to reach a perfect in-store experience. With the help of our APIs the eye tracking metadata can be used within a wide range of concepts including campaign analytics, loyalty engagement and much more. We are looking forward to share more in upcoming blog posts about the future of retail where our APIs enable amazing experiences in your stores!
Hope you enjoyed our video.