Project Scope

To turn physical products into a direct channel to engage, acquire, and retain customers.

Duration:

6 months

Team:

1 Engineering Manager
1 Product Manager
1 Principal Designer
1 UX designer
2 Full stack developer
1 Back-end developer

Introduction

In an age when marketers are keener than ever to keep consumers engaged, connected, and well-informed, Proqure offers a unique set of solutions to large retail brands to convert their products into live communication channels. Headquartered in Perth, Australia, and built on the philosophy of “making all products smart products,” Proqure connects consumer brands with their end-users like never before.

Their latest endeavor to power product intelligence with tech innovation is a connected product solution that utilizes the Near-Field Communication tag – more commonly known as the NFC tag. This tag can be scanned by customers using a basic smartphone scanner to retrieve information about the product, like brand-related information, offers, gifts and coupons, loyalty programs, usage-related information (like recipes or directions to use), and so on. The information made available to the customer is deeply customized based on her/his location, date and time of access, and so on.

In 2020, Proqure partnered with Digicorp to develop a niche and integrated platform to enable brands to track the usage of their products in real-time, map how different users are interacting with their products, and push targeted marketing content to users based on parameters such as time, location, etc.

Platform Features: How Digicorp Catered to the Unique UX Needs of Diverse User Groups in a Seamless Manner

Since Proqure essentially helps retail businesses to design content-led journeys for their customers, we structured the platform keeping in mind the specific modules that businesses require for managing such campaigns.

We realized that while marketers clearly stand to benefit from the platform, there are also other major user groups like brand managers, product managers, line managers, and data/IT teams whose specific needs have to be captured. This is especially true because of the complex structure of retail companies and the seamless coordination that needs to happen among the various departments.

After several group discussions and one-on-one discussions with the target users, as well as brainstorming sessions with the Proqure team, we arrived at the following key features that formed the cornerstone of the platform.

Feature Target User Description
Campaign Management Marketers /
Product Managers / Brand Managers
Individual and aggregate views of all active, closed, and draft campaigns across the campaign lifecycle to track campaign performance, make necessary changes on the go, identify campaign success and failure rates, and so on.
Analytics Dashboard Marketers /
Product Managers / Brand Managers
Granular and big-picture views of metrics like number and percentage of customers engaging with the campaigns, success rate across geographies and retail stores, success rates across different products and SKUs, and so on.
Manufacturing Information Line Managers / Product Managers Access to assembly line information that is mapped to NFC tag rolls in a batch-wise manner to keep track of product performance right from the stage of production to the final stage of sales.
Highly Scalable Architecture Data Teams / IT Department In the future, the data captured by the platform can be mined by Proqure to gain invaluable insights on product usage, customer behavior, and campaign success (while abiding by the applicable data safety and privacy regulations).

To enable this, the platform architecture has been designed to be highly robust, scalable, and capable of handling large volumes of data in real time.

 

User Persona

Step 1. Analyze or add your Customer Persona. To make a description more detailed, feel free to add images or videos.

User Persona

Empathy Map

Step 2. Analyze emotions and feelings of your customer.

Empathy map

Service Blueprint

Step 3. Analyze your internal business processes to ensure all the factors are in place and the process is optimized to provide the greatest customer experience.

Service Blueprint

Overcoming Stumbling Blocks: How We Resolved Key Technical Challenges Using the Lean-Agile Approach

Proqure enables retail brands to leverage the world of connected products by making targeted, timed, and tailor-made content available to their customers who can access it with a simple tap on their smartphones.

Several critical technical challenges cropped up in the testing phase which we addressed promptly using the lean-agile approach.

High Data Volume, Velocity, and Variety

The scale and complexity of the data being processed by the platform, along with the brisk pace of data generation, the complex data lifecycle, and the fast-moving nature of consumer goods meant that traditional SQL databases were not a great match for the platform. We opted for no-SQL databases that can process massive data inflow at blazing fast speed because of their inherently scalable architecture.

No-SQL databases can also store and integrate unstructured, semi-structured, or structured data with ease and efficiency, and allow modifications to be easily made to schemas and fields. Further, by integrating the architecture with the cloud, we were able to provide highly reduced downtime to platform users and ensured that the data is always stored as a single source of truth, without any duplication or redundancies.

Errors Arising While Harnessing IoT Technology

A big part of the success of any connected device solution is the seamless integration of data across multiple physical touchpoints. When we started testing the platform by tapping into the power of NFC tags from multiple locations and multiple devices, we realized that different devices were interacting slightly differently with the product tags. This led to minor aberrations in the data being received at the platform level.

To overcome this, we kept on reiterating the data generation process until all the devices available in the market were in sync with each other. The field-level testing and retesting had to be done manually by our team since scanning the NFC tag using a smart device is the only way to generate the data. However, soon we identified the precise source of the errors and modified the code to address the same.

Teleporting Large Volumes of Data Across Multiple Systems

Not just storage – even moving around massive chunks of data each time and locating them to the right storage/access points can lead to delayed user experience (and other episodes like the system hanging or the platform not responding).

To resolve this, we coupled cloud architecture with smart caching, which reduced the need to teleport the entire data load each time. Instead, the platform focused on handling new incoming or outgoing data while accessing old or existing data from smartly cached data dumps.

With Proqure, retail products can now tell a brand’s story like never before. This means that consumer product brands can overcome the barriers of traditional marketing channels by opting for spontaneous, personalized, and direct communication with customers. They can also tap into the power of eCommerce directly through their products and invest in long-term value with their customers through smart labels that help to optimize customer communication anywhere, anytime.

Conclusion

Digicorp is proud to have been the preferred design and development partner for Proqure and many other bleeding-edge tech innovations over the years that thrive on a robust back-end, well-researched UI-UX, and a reliable, scalable technology stack underlying the entire solution.

Whether you are looking to build a new product from scratch, augment an existing product, build websites and feature-rich platforms, or utilize our globally benchmarked UI-UX expertise, get in touch with us today to kickstart your journey!

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