Omnifi Web Product Scanner
What is it?
The Web Scanner is a localised customer facing mobile website that creates a link between in-store products and related online content without the need for an app. It is designed to be deployed to in-store WiFi portals, localised mobile websites or Physical Web Beacons.
Why did we build it?
From discussions with clients and others in the industry we know that multi-channel retailers have invested heavily in digital content and eCommerce platforms, but often struggle to find ways to easily link their offline store experience with their online channels.
At the same time customers increasingly want to and expect to move between channels seamlessly. Native apps, while offering great UX and functionality, are not a practical solution to many omnichannel customer needs. Users are simply not willing to download, use and keep apps on their phone for all but a handful of brands and scenarios.
Our product acts like an app, but actually uses the latest web technology to deliver what feels like a native app experience. It’s built on a ‘thin layer’ principle. This ‘thin layer web-app’ is simply there to create a clever link between offline products and existing web content. The solution works via the existing web channels and networks (sunk investment) and consumers own devices (their investment, not yours).
By using proven and widely adopted technologies the product aims to quickly and cost-effectively solve omnichannel challenges including;
- Creating a direct link between an on-shelf product and online product content (the user can get from one to the other in two clicks)
- Simple integration via existing web search tools or eComm APIs
- Allowing for exposure of the long-tail, endless aisles, cross-channel product research, discovery, ordering and even purchase
- And all this through existing infrastructure (no investment in screens, staff tablets etc)
How it works
The mobile web based scanner integrates with the native camera function on iOS and Android devices. Once an image has been selected it is uploaded and fed into our server-side image or barcode recognition service. Currently we are kicking off a simple web or eCommerce search with the returned code or text string, but when deployed the service is designed to be fully integrated into an existing eComm platform.
Within potentially just two clicks (sign into network/click on Nearby Notification – take picture) users are taken directly from the product in-store to relevant online content. Ultimately, the content and functionality will vary from retailer to retailer, but we imagine that this could include;
- The online product listing – including product variants (other sizes, colours etc)
- Access to relevant long-tail products – an endless aisle solution without the need for in-situ screens
- Reviews – via the retailer eComm platform or via 3rd parties
- Stock availability – via the retailer eComm/stock platform
- Add to basket functionality – either for online, click-and-collect or immediate in-store fulfillment
- Save for later and share functionality – including the ability to be logged into an existing customer account
- Cross channel shopping, SCV and attribution – including the ability to be logged into an existing customer account
This is an MVP that we are still working on, it has a few known limitations.
- It is designed to be mobile only – for best results only use a mobile device, tablets are OK, smartphones are best
- iOS users need to centre the image on the text or barcode to be scanned, otherwise text can be missed or barcodes not found
- iOS users don’t get the in-line video view that Android users do – this is an OS level limitation, but is expected to be resolved soon as this feature is gradually standardised
- No specific support for non-iOS or Android devices (we’ve not built or tested for these as yet)
- Some older handsets’ default browsers don’t support the technology (the experience works best on Chrome and Safari)
If you want to find out more about the WiFi Scanner please e-mail Simon or get in touch here. We are looking to trial our Phase One product with retailers and the service can be set up with no additional hardware required beyond an accessible in-store public WiFi landing page.
Omnifi Box Beacon
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Omnibeacon - Physical Web Platform
We have developed our own Innovate UK funded Physical Web Beacons and Physical Web Platform, Omnibeacon.
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