On November 11, 2020, iQmetrix was named winner of the “Business App of the Year” for its omnichannel suite of solutions at the fourth annual Mobile Breakthrough Awards. This is a global awards program is held by Mobile Breakthrough, a leading independent market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies, and products in the global wireless and mobile market today. Judges described iQmetrix’s omnichannel suite—which encompasses e-commerce solutions, contactless payment, queue management, and its mobile POS — as “necessary and game-changing” and “a breakthrough suite.”
Here, iQmetrix omnichannel expert Ken Konkel, Vice President of Product and Technology, digs into why this suite of retail technology solutions is causing such a buzz.
Q: First, how would you describe iQmetrix’s omnichannel suite of solutions?
A: Our omnichannel products are really aimed at fusing the customer’s experience online with their in-store experience. This is so vital today, especially in the telecom retail business. Many retailers’ traffic is driven to the physical stores by their online interaction with the customer, and our products are bridging that divide. Then, once the customer is in the store, we want to provide a world-class experience for them. Especially in this day and age, when customers need to interact as seamlessly and with as little physical contact as possible and allow for physical distancing while still enabling the retailer to manage their store and its traffic. There are so many scenarios to adapt to, whether the customer wants to buy online and pick up in store, whether they want to use curbside pickup when they get there, whether they want to avoid waiting in line in a busy space, whether they want to pay without touching a point-of-sale terminal. We are providing the tools to bring all those elements together and bridge all those gaps seamlessly.
Q: The award judges described the omnichannel suite as “game-changing” — what’s particularly game-changing about these solutions?
A: The big game-changer is the ease with which we can provide retailers with these tools to give those seamless experience to their customers. They can get these solutions up and running with minimal impact to their processes. All our personal and professional lives have been impacted by what’s going on right now. Change in retail technology is inevitable, but the need for this change came faster than anybody anticipated. So to be able to rapidly and smoothly introduce new tools and processes, which also integrate into retailers’ existing processes, that’s a game-changer.
And then on the other side, it’s also about being able to provide that seamless customer experience like none other, where the customer can use their own device to pay and have minimal interaction with other devices or even the store.
Q: Was the omnichannel suite developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic?
A: The retail world is changing constantly, and the notion of omnichannel solutions in retail is obviously not new. Nor is wanting to provide novel ways to engage customers and transition them from their online experience — or from whatever channel their buying experience starts — to the retail store. These solutions have seen a huge uptick in business over the past eight months or so, but they already existed — they were not developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the products where we’ve seen that huge uptick, that’s where we decided to invest more, such as Curbside Pickup, our new Pay Anywhere solution, and our Queue Management solution. With Pay Anywhere and Queue Management, these were ideas that were already on our radar because of technology trends and changes in retail consumer behaviors, but we very quickly developed those solutions in response to the pandemic and the restrictions imposed on retail, which required a rapid response.
At the same time, we wanted to provide a solution that created an unparalleled customer experience, not rush through a product that wouldn’t be useful to the retailer or consumer. In terms of queue management, that’s far from a new concept for all retailers, but the pandemic suddenly brought to the forefront the urgent priority of getting traffic safely in and out of the store, knowing whose turn it is, and being able to manage that interaction quickly and safely — that became incredibly important for all retailers.
Q: Which specific products within the omnichannel suite are seeing the most growth?
A: The one we’ve seen most uptick in is our Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) product, along with Curbside Pickup. We’ve seen a lot of excitement and traction on our newer Pay Anywhere and Queue Management solutions, and especially with the holiday season meaning retailers are looking for ways they can manage customer experiences, we’re seeing a lot of interest. But the tangible winner in terms of sales is our BOPIS experience, which has increased 400% in sales year over year. This is now an experience that customers are coming to expect. Indications are that it’s probably here to stay — it’s a behavior that is now becoming ingrained in consumers. They still like to go out, and go to the store, but buying or reserving online first is likely an experience that consumers will expect beyond the restrictions we’re seeing right now.
Q: Bearing in mind last year’s winner in this award category was ultra-successful video-conferencing app Zoom, what does it mean to iQmetrix to win the 2020 award?
A: Obviously we’re very proud of what we’ve built and delivered, and the problems we’ve been able to solve. Much like Zoom has enjoyed meteoric success and rapid rise in use, we’re seeing this huge rise in need for technological solutions in these omnichannel categories. Especially given some of them required a very rapid response, we’re very proud of our team for the speed with which they could deliver not just solutions that solve these problems for the retailer, but also really world-class solutions in terms of the customer experience. From the approach to design, to how quickly it was implemented, to how quickly we were able to iterate with customer feedback and roll these solutions out, the team has a lot to be proud of.
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