Today, several shopping channels coexist: legacy brick & mortar shops, e-commerce web sites, m-commerce, ... They are based on different technical and functional environments, different information systems. The fluidity of user experience is not guaranteed.

 

Omni Channel shopping aims at providing merchants with the capability to deliver a seamless customer journey regardless of which channel (point of sales, digital and mobile …) the clients decide to use. In addition to providing a better user experience, by being able to capture, interpret and use customer information from all channels, and all stages of the journey, the merchant will be able to compete and differentiate in the market. The technical impact of these needs concerns all the hardware and software components (user, merchant, service provider) put into play.
For all the steps, the channels could be mixed and the continuity has to be ensured. Technically, we have to make sure that hardware user devices, oftware apps and  Cloud servers,  separately and when they run together, are trustable. The governance of all the system is a substantial task.

Business model:
Today, the user shopping, loyalty and payment devices are based (in Europe) on plastic card (id number, ICC contact and contactless) or mobile apps payment or loyalty wallet using several means of communication (QRcode, GSM, NFC, BLE, UWB, ..). These personal devices are issued generally by a service provider (financial institution as bank, retailers, ..). They are not fully interoperable solutions. The user needs to have several devices and needs to choose the kind of card or apps. The device issuers do not support business agreement to share the same support, even if technically feasible, because of management complexity (rights, renews, ..) with security and organization challenge. It is worse with mobile apps.
A new business approach could be based on common devices, bought by the end-user (such as a leather wallet or a smartphone), who decides which applications shall be installed on the wearable device. A first organization model around all the players (retailers, financial institutions, added authentication & trust services provider, ..) for an optimum Omni Channel user experience has to be investigated in this project with focus group before business pilot. 

Target market:
Retail (products & services) – omni-channel shopping – payment – after sales

Environment:

The end-user has to stay connected, must use the personal wearable device in different phases of omni-channel shopping:

  • At home: search and discover products or services, interaction with various home captors (refrigerator, bin, ..)
  • During transportation: connected car, public transportation, on foot, ..
  • Near the shop: geolocation and commercial notification
  •  In a shop: indoor geolocation, check-in, commercial notifications, checkout
  • For payment: strong authentication and formal agreement
  • Product or service delivery: shipping, tracking, .., withdrawal
  • After-sale services: maintenance, renewal
  • Certified review


Use case scenario:

Shopping steps:

  • Find/discover products/services
  • Compare and choose
  • Check pricing and features (coupons/miles use, delivery conditions…)
  • Give an agreement, sign contracts, send orders
  • Pay
  • Everything after sales as delivery/installation of products, sales/customer support or after sales
  • Share experience with another customer
  • Etc.


Technological requirements, state of the art, main deadlocks:

Based on eGo project feedback, and considering current efforts on smart wearable shopping/payment for Omni Channel shopping, we can identify several tracks:

  • Personal device authentication (and server): the legacy system based on asymmetric key (RSA) remains hard to manage in B2C particularly in collaborative mode (E.g. EMV banking card or secure apps). We would like to investigate emerging technologies such as PUF or device fingerprinting.
  • Personal device energy management: shopping services have to be hierarchized and available energy accurately managed to provide the user with enough information to assure safety and  resilience of the main services, such as payment (E. g. project Volta Android 5).
  • Adapted user authentication, to access physical or logical services. Following FIDO initiative, user experience based on contextual transaction analysis including multi-devices, geo-location, biometric method, adapted process link to the transaction risk level.
  • Mobile device apps development (secured software in B2C). There are to date several solutions in B2B based on enforced Secure OS (limited services, usage of Trusted Zone, hypervisor, virtualization and split environment for professional data, ..)
  • Application Payment POS would be adapted to integrate this new mode of local exchange and run fully on-line with Cloud servers to add scoring and manage the transaction life cycle
  • Indoor geo-location: the local network technologies could be used for indoor geo-location and to simplify the user experience (near and inside the shop with check-in, .. check-out). Today, there are still some difficulties about pairing, correct user selection, ..
  • It is not very innovative, but Omni Channel is based on Shared Information System, where data are available in transactional mode with fluidity constraints.
  • Data analytics with machine learning is used to improve user shopping experience (E. g. recommendation or targeted customer notification)
  • Privacy by design has to be ensured for user trust .