Customer Use Case – Enhancing the Omni-channel experience using a branded IoT solution 

The Challenge

Today’s most successful consumer brands have invested in harmonizing the customer experience across web, mobile and retail interfaces, all benefits of an Omnichannel solution. As a consequence their businesses have flourished, even when confronted by the disruptive COVID-19 forces that has increased the survival pressures on the “traditional” retail outlet channels. For example, brands that clung to a "patchwork" of traditional multi-tiered retail outlet models that including national chains, regional outlets, local “Ma and Pa” shops, have found it difficult to compete with the Omnichannel strengths and are now operating at a significant disadvantage.

For such "late starters", the necessary transition to a new model is even more urgent to survive and grow; simultaneously achieving the necessary business transformation while immersed the COVID-19 battle presents several challenges including:

  • Customers expect to move between sales channels seamlessly and will move to competitors if not well integrated

  • Stores are often limited to the stock on hand to complete a sale and never carry the Brand’s full product catalog, often missing sizes or colors.

  • Local sales staff are not well trained in how to get the customer the best solution provide the best solution to customer: and often the customer is offered receives little assistance

  • It is difficult to build customer affinity

  • It’s very hard to see demand and buying trends, making it difficult to optimize supply chain operations

Elements of Success

Through its previous work with a major apparel brand, Assess-IoT has identified the following a promising solution path for Brands seeking to harmonize improve the customer’s experience with the benefits delivered by an Omnichannel  experience throughout their sales network, including diverse retail outlets.

This solution path includes a novel retail outlet platform which improves the customer experience by:  

  • Providing an in-store Brand boutique experience

  • Having knowledge of in store stocking levels

  • Providing access to the full product catalog

  • Delivering sales assistance guidance to curate the best solution

  • Integrating with distributor fulfillment system to complete

  • Building customer affinity

  • Ensuring the customer receives the right size

  • Advertising Brand messaging and information when not in active use

  • Tracking real-time demand and has trend analysis to signal supply chain optimization changes

 

  • Omnichannel System from a hardware viewpoint:

    • A self-contained enclosure that provides gesture or voice or touch driven UI on a portrait display. The enclosure can be branded. The display will be used to reflect the customer, for provide digital signage when not in use, and to display the catalog and each product’s stocking status

    • Cameras to recognize an existing customer, build create a customer avatar and “right-size” a customer

    • Bluetooth hub for IoT shelving shelving management

    • A tethered tablet for sales assistant direction interaction

    • A PC level computer for local computations

    • Internet connectivity for access to sales collateral, distribution system back-end and cloud analytics

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  • Omnichannel System from a Software viewpoint:

    • Voice and image recognition, with the ability to precisely measure a person's apparel size(s)

    • Backend integration capabilities

    • Brand customization wizard with browser UI

    • Cloud support

    • Right sizing algorithm

    • 3D rendering of customers reflection (wearing selected garments)

System Realization

A compelling system design for this retail outlet platform  is centered around an in store proactive smart mirror connected to traditional edge and cloud infrastructure that has the following characteristics:

The Payoff

Deploying the proactive smart mirror into stores for a branded experience, funded by a leasing arrangement involving the brand, the distributor and the store would

  • Provide a compelling reason for the customer to visit the retail outlet

  • Increase revenue and profit across the supply chain

  • Minimize returns

  • Ensure customers buy the best solution delivered from the fastest source

  • Future opportunities to market directly to the existing customer base

  • Enable Brands to develop and manage the Omnichannel experience

  • Keeps the retail network financially healthy