Releasing major functionalities and enabling new scenarios to help our channel partners accomplish more is at the core of our product development. We are happy to announce our next iterative development to our V3 production environment with a minor version named V3.2.
Performance in every aspect
When we design our APIs we always keep in mind that the speed of experience delivery is key. Our customers and channel partners need a platform where a client application can access just the right amount of functional data with less round trips to the cloud with the minimal caching as possible. We love to emphasize the fact that for the last four years at NRF Expo we had our showcase experiences running on conference wifi with no glitches and perfect fluidity fully connected to our cloud with zero caching.
In this minor version we focused on improving what’s already close to perfect. We wanted to make it better, faster, smoother and more customization. From now on we give you the ability to opt-out of our analytics platform. In case you think you are not going to use it, and you want to squeeze out more performance out of platform you can disable bits and pieces. This is just a small part of the iceberg. The good news is you don’t need to migrate your applications.
No migration required for the next version!
This is amazing right? To start using V3.2 and leverage all the improvements we listed above you don’t need to migrate your application. You don’t need to submit another application to an App Store. In fact, you don’t need to do anything. Your applications are actually benefiting by all the improvements just before this blog post is up. Congratulations!
In case you would like dig a little bit deeper and see a couple of changes specific to V3.2 from API schema perspective here is the link to our release notes. No breaking changes! As always our SDKs are up to date as well.
I understand the desire to re-use the investment made in public websites. Why not increase it’s ROI, right? However, in this case, re-purposing your public website or eCom for in-store experience is the worst idea possible. Not only will it NOT achieve an ROI, but it will erode store value.
Consider the following 5 points:
Perception. – Using your public website to power In-Store experience sends the message: “I could have done this at home?” Not a horrible message. However, we absolutely don’t want the customer to think this when they arealready at the store. Rather, we want them to feel good about the visit and value the In-Store experience as a unique experience they can’t get anywhere else.
Touch / Device Experience. – Most eCom websites are NOT touch optimized for large touch screen devices (and never will be) due to primary investments focused on either traditional PCs and/or smaller mobile device screens. Retailers that attempt to reuse their public website usually end up installing mice and keyboards. Of course, this causes many other problems. One of the most costly is the marketing effort required to help the customer understand that this device is for their use versus the associate. The end result is a bad environmental design.
In-Store Technology Integration. – In-Store experience investments open the door to many promising integration points including: IoT, Machine to Machine scenarios, Augmented Reality (AR), Audience Measurement (Gartner Reinforces these for 2015), Unique Kiosk Peripherals, Beacons, Consumer Device interaction, wayfinding technology and store specific data integration. Your eCom website will likely not support this and any attempt to retrofit will be a costly one-off effort.
New Store Workflows. – Wayfinding, In-store pickup, Returns, Registry, Store Specific promotions, Real-time opt-in Loyalty promotions… are just a few examples of things that most retailers should consider, but cannot do with their eCom website.
R&D and Innovation. – In-Store experience innovation should move faster than the eCom website. Tapping into XOMNI version releases and powerful integration with best-of-breed retail technology partners will provide free R&D and a test bed for a potential roll-out to your eCom website.
Perhaps the most powerful reason to avoid re-purposing your website is the anecdotal evidence that it will fail. How many Kiosks have you seen turned off, dusty and in a corner? Of course, there are more than one reason for this occurrence but the stories we hear most often are related to a poor customer experience. I know many Tier-1 retailers who initially attempted to accelerate their in-store experience with their website. Today they are gone and in their place you will notice a combination of rich Endless Aisle and point/purposeful micro experiences. An expensive lesson to learn.
When it comes to the cost of a full scale In-Store experience deployment, taking the right path versus compromised path typically costs 12% – 14% of the overall investment over a 5 year period. This is a small price to pay in order to ensure ultimate UX performance, flexibility and future proofing of the investment. Of course, this number doesn’t factor in cost savings due to XOMNI accelerating and powering the UX while driving down hosting and data center costs significantly. In fact, under this scenario it’s possible for the approach to literally pay for itself.
There are many articles, analysts and anecdotal stories that can be found on the web warning retailers to avoid simply slapping their web presence on an in-store device. I hope my recent interview with OnWidnows will help others avoid this mistake and see a viable alternative: http://bit.ly/1Eho4nk
How does one power or enable unparalleled user experience? First, you need to involve someone with a solid understanding of “user centered design” and the ability to tailor a process for defining such an experience. Like these folks. Next, you need to break down all the typical barriers to design execution: Data access, channel access, (omnichannel integration), technology integration, performance and constraints associated with delivering the “design” to the targeted client platforms. Finally, you need to provide support so the players involved can focus on their core business.
InformationWeek just published an article which illustrates one aspect of our core business – Cloud R&D. XOMNI is constantly on the hunt for new partners and technologies to support unparalleled user experience. We have a team specifically designed to learn all the hard lessons associated with new technology and their application within the cloud – so you don’t have to. We absorb those technologies that are ready to add value and enhance them in ways that benefit specific use cases and make them easy to understand and consume.
Making assisted selling and the retail white glove experience easy with Omnichannel.
BTW – What is the difference between Multichannel and Omnichannel? Multi-Channel vs Omni-Channel: Multi-Channel is simply the acknowledgement that there are multiple channels and multiple ways to reach your customer. However, the use of the channel is often isolated from other channels. Omni-channel is an evolution in that it demands a cohesive and orchestrated use of available channels per customer conversation.