The Ice House solutions are generally aligned with O2O, online to offline and vice versa. Our latest solution is a framework for the platform economy, connecting existing solutions with new applications. The first, easy to use introduction evolves around QR codes and narrowcasting, combined with mirrors and screens. In this blog we highlight the next steps to move to a new efficient way to shop.
QR code and narrow casting
We are all familiar with the QR codes. We are also familiar with narrowcasting, the projection of pictures or video clips on a screen. At Ice House we combine the two, while adding a few new elements. First we had a look at QR codes, or the QR code reader which is now readily available on every smartphone. Switch on the camera, and your phone reads the QR code. What to do with this option? We know most fashion labels use bar code tags. So people are familiar with the principle of the barcode scanner at the cashier point. Also, we witness all sorts of screens and digital, smart mirrors. What would be a cool solution combined with QR codes?
As we are pragmatic in the way we work, we always look for quick wins. By connecting QR codes to narrowcasting, the fitting room is turned into a point of sale. How? The starting point could be the pictures in your webshop. We make a slideshow and show them on the digital mirror in your fitting room, or on a screen onsite in your shop. Then we add a QR code. This QR code redirects the customer to the related page in the webshop. Here the order can be placed including payments and home delivery. Quick and easy.
The video clip with QR code is integrated in a solution that is already present onsite. Alternatively, new hardware of choice can be integrated.
The Ice House webportal
Subsequently, we create a web portal for registering users (customers) and creating shop accounts. The retailer is in control and can make changes when and where required.
From the retailer point of view, the business case is being expanded through the additional point of sale with extra service, leading eventually to efficiency and more quality. Less staff will be needed at cash points because the ordering and delivery is done in the fitting room. The security tag needs to be removed by the assistant at the fitting room helpdesk. The shopping assistant is a new role in our model. Upselling and cross selling becomes possible based on personas and shopping in style. Also, a self-checkout area can be added.
Ice House solutions contain elements such as apps, geofencing, push notifications, augmented reality, image recognition, QR codes, payments and loyalty – ideal for e-commerce and retail O2O. To create a cool user experience in a next stage, we connect the app to new payment solutions that have now become possible with PSD2. We look at Alipay, Google pay, Samsung pay and Apple pay. We connect your front end with your back end, with your customer relations management system, your content management system and your other systems.
To boost the user experience, we can add professional video clips with an easy to the user interface. At Ice House we support the client in this journey, which can span from relatively small changes to transformations. For this, we have formed partnerships with leading brands in the business to design and style O2O customer experiences.
O2O with mirrors and screens
The online and offline retail and e-commerce concepts offer new possibilities for customer engagement. With the help of digital mirrors and screens it will become possible to give a new meaning to the pop up shopping concept. We work with the best screen and mirror vendors in the market to facilitate upselling and cross selling, meaning a fitting room mirror could become a point of sale as mentioned before, or where you could virtually try on a garment. Screens in the shop can make your entire collection visible on site, while they can be bought with an augmented reality app in the webshop and delivered at home. A pop up with screens and mirrors could help you set up a new shop in a new market in a different country, where you could try out your concept or where you could bring your webshop to the customer at a relatively low cost. And as shown in the above use case, mirrors and screens become points of sale in unexpected places such as the fitting room.
The next developments
At Ice House we design user experiences from a technical point of view. We then add our vast experience in retail, payments and organisation development to create efficient solutions for business models and business cases. We look at Alibaba, Amazon and Inditex for inspiration in business models, where customer user experience is paramount, such as the Inditex use case in Westfield Stratford https://www.inditex.com/article?articleId=544094&title=Zara+abre+en+Londres+por+primera+vez+en+el+mundo+un+novedoso+concepto+para+pedidos+online but also at retailers such as Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn that is planning a supermarket soap based on real life events (in Dutch)
Know your customer (KYC) and know your product (KYP)
With e-commerce and retail solutions, we build mobile apps and platforms. Apps are a direct marketing channel. They serve several purposes such as information, ordering, sales, gaming, etcetera. In those apps all sorts of features can be added, for instance aforementioned payments, loyalty, coupons and special offers. An app thus helps you build a loyal customer base. An app also helps you build your e-commerce platform and make the connection between online to offline and vice versa through customer engagement meaning search features and call to action. Just a few clicks align your customer with your business and add to customer loyalty. A consistent marketing strategy connected with social media positions you top of mind.
Key in this marketing strategy is deep knowledge of your customers, your products, and alignment. The needs of your customers, the customer lifecycle, customer engagement, creating personas, analysing data, a firm vision and strategy, and knowledge of your customer path in terms of touchpoints and ongoing challenge of assumptions are focus points. We also look at what is expected of your staff to contribute and align with your customer and strategy, in terms of sales and procurement. For this, we have designed special human capital development and e-commerce marketing programs, to support your organisation in the change process.
This blog was written by Yvette de Koste, managing director at Ice House Netherlands, with a firm background in organisation development and e-commerce. For more information please visit www.icehousecorp.com and the facebook page www.facebook.com/icehousenetherlands.