When it comes to clothing, most people prefer a custom fit that accentuates their best features and exhibits their unique style. Historically, tailors have customized garments to fit a particular person by making alterations, and today, technology accomplishes the same custom design.
Thanks to tools like Ombori’s Product Designer, retailers can now offer one-of-a-kind products designed to their specifications.
This technology helps businesses streamline operations, increase customer efficiency, and ensure greater customer satisfaction. Companies that implement these solutions are able to differentiate themselves from the competition by showcasing custom-designed products and creating a comprehensive shopping experience.
What is the Product Designer App?
The Ombori Product Designer app allows customers to design personalized products by combining aspects of the physical and digital retail worlds. While shopping on site, customers can use their mobile phone to view a brand’s entire range of products, including all configurable options for each model. Even if an item is not currently available in-store, customers can still access it digitally.
They can further tailor products using a material reader. By placing an RFID-embedded material swatch on a sensor-equipped plinth, they can view items that match or complement the swatch. They can then click and explore each product, with the option to download Information to their phone via a QR code. They can even complete purchases directly at the terminal using a credit card or mobile payment.
While the benefit to consumers is obvious, Product Designer also helps businesses streamline processes and increase customer efficiency. It allows businesses to track customer preferences and use this data to predict future demand and optimize inventory. It also allows shoppers to self-serve when looking for product information, which reduces the workload on store associates.
Retailer Utilization of the Product Designer App
Given these benefits, various retailers have made the wise choice to launch the Ombori Product Designer app. This tool is most appropriate for retailers who carry a wide range of inventory in different configurations, not all of which can be displayed in the store. This includes department stores, home furnishings, apparel, electronics, and automotive. Product Designer also works well for customizable products that allow shoppers to select from multiple options.
Two retailers, in particular, have recognized the value of implementing the Product Designer app: BoConcept in Tokyo and iDeal of Sweden. Not only have these companies chosen to implement this technology, but they have also expanded its functionally by integrating other Ombori tools such as Guided Selling and Self-Checkout. When combined with these additional tools, the Product Designer app creates optimal results for retailers.
Improving the Customer Journey through Guided Selling and the Product Designer App
Ombori Guided Selling is an interactive sales tool that helps customers find products that are right for them. The key to effective Guided Selling technology is asking questions that personalize each individual shopping experience. For example, if a customer is shopping for a new vehicle, a Guided Selling tool might seek answers to questions about performance, cargo capacity, fuel economy, cost, or luxury.
It then makes recommendations based on this information, presenting the customer with products that meet those needs, including items that are not currently available on-site. The customer can then complete the purchase by paying directly at a self-serve terminal using a credit card or mobile payment.
The Product Designer app integrates well with Guided Selling, allowing customers to create personalized products to their own specifications. It enhances the customer journey by providing detailed comparison information to ensure people select the right product.
It also increases revenue by highlighting products that are directly targeted to individual customer needs, thereby increasing the likelihood of purchase. In addition, Guided Selling can show customers the benefits of higher value products and promote add-on purchases. Detailed tracking of customer preferences enables businesses to predict future demand and optimize inventory.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction through Self-Checkout and the Product Designer App
Ombori’s Self-Checkout technology allows customers to make purchases without the fuss of standing in line. They can scan items using barcodes and pay directly at a self-checkout terminal using a credit card or mobile payment.
Again, Product Designer integrates nicely with Self-Checkout technology, allowing retailers to create a complete self-serve environment for customers who are increasingly demanding a touchless shopping experience.
Self-Checkout technology is well suited for environments where customers are in a hurry or are making small purchases (e.g., airports, gift shops, bus and train stations, and cinemas). It is designed for retailers with a high throughput of customers, and it allows people to take control of the checkout process and spend less time waiting in line. It is also more convenient because checkout stations are located throughout the store.
In addition, Ombori’s Self-Checkout solution increases business efficiency by allowing customers to complete purchases by themselves, without the assistance of store associates. They can avoid long lines at the cash register, which often leads to frustration, and are more likely to return to the store because they have had a smooth shopping experience, thus increasing future revenue.
While this all seems theoretical, two retailers are currently testing these hypotheses and proving the Product Designer app works, especially when combined with Guided Selling and Self-Checkout technologies.
Case Study: BoConcept in Tokyo
BoConcept in Tokyo is piloting Ombori’s Product Designer to enhance its in-store experience. The company realizes the potential of combining physical and digital shopping into a single retail experience.
BoConcept is a premium retail lifestyle brand that originated in Denmark in 1952. The company designs, produces, and sells contemporary furniture, accessories, and lighting for a variety of spaces, including living rooms, dining areas, bedrooms, home offices, and outdoor areas. It also helps customers create personalized spaces with comprehensive digital and physical design services.
Like Ombori, BoConcept realizes that the future of retail is customization. At the Tokyo store, customers can use technology to design the furniture they want. Together, the two companies have developed “experience points” that encourage customer engagement while underscoring flexible interior design service and a highly-customizable collection. This innovation also speaks to the demand for omnichannel shopping.
The Spark Your Style experience point combines Guided Selling with Product Designer to allow customers to create a style profile by answering questions regarding style preference, room choice, budget range, and other preferences. They can download or print recommendations, and a BoConcept associate will follow up directly with a personalized email message featuring content that matches the customer’s style preferences.
Likewise, the Pieces As Individual As You Are experience point utilizes Product Designer features that allow customers to view the brand’s entire product range. Using RFID-enabled swatches, customers can view items in a specific fabric/color combination. They can explore each item further by selecting complementary color tones or accessories; additionally, they can save their selection to a mobile device, allowing BoConcept to market to them directly in the future.
Case Study: iDeal of Sweden
iDeal of Sweden, a mobile accessory company, is also utilizing Ombori’s Product Designer app to extend its market share from an online presence to an in-store experience. This global fashion and lifestyle brand creates premium phone accessories (e.g., mobile cases, wallets, power banks, lightning cables, and different types of mounts) for everyday use. Its product collection is designed to adjust to different situations and occasions without sacrificing style.
Although iDeal of Sweden started as an online company, it has recently turned to Ombori to connect its digital success to physical spaces through smart technology engagement. The brand utilizes digital signage to draw attention to its products within a physical space.
While social media has always been an important tool for generating sales, a physical presence in stores now allows the company to connect with customers through an omnichannel sales strategy.
Staff can easily add the latest commercials to digital signage to increase brand recognition. In-store screens are also connected to social media influencers’ accounts, showing their latest posts; the software allows consumers to quickly scan a QR code with their mobile phones to continue interacting with the influencers.
To connect in-store products to omnichannel sales, tablets are placed throughout iDeal of Sweden stores. The tablets allow customers to visualize products they interact with and provide additional information, supported by a scannable QR code. This enables customers to decide whether they want to proceed with their purchase on their phone or in the store.
Product Designer: The Tailor of the Future
The future of retail lies in the ability of brands to customize products according to spec. Today’s customers want the ability to control their shopping experience by designing products that meet their needs and purchasing them without the assistance of a sales associate.
Ombori is currently working with retailers such as BoConcept in Tokyo and iDeal of Sweden to provide a customized shopping experience for customers. In today’s competitive market, these brands distinguish themselves as modern-day tailors and are reaping the rewards of increased sales.
Rui is COO of Ombori Grid. Before joining Ombori in 2017, he worked in Beijing, Tokyo, Silicon Valley and Zagreb before ending up in Stockholm. He previously spent nine years in R&D at Ericsson as Operative Product Owner, and is a highly skilled leader in IT and communications with a successful track record of working closely with both stakeholders and management.