What inspired me to explore omni-channel platforms?
When it comes to deciding on the best platform to reach users on, many get swept up in the excitement of new technologies like voice and Alexa, while others prefer to stick to the more traditional channels like websites and apps.
New voice and mobile technologies are creating opportunities for brands to adopt an omni-channel approach to their digital strategy. Using all of the platforms mentioned above to create touch points that are far more intuitive and engaging for their audience to use.
The challenge to this approach is effectively using each channel at different stages throughout the user journey. Letting users chose the platform they want to use, rather than just stumbling across your website, app or Alexa Skill after they’ve bought their latest device.
Designing a journey across mobile apps & Alexa Skills:
Innovation Time is an initiative that dedicates 15% of our team’s time to explore emerging technology and solve problems they’re passionate about. I wanted to spend my week figuring out how we can combat the limitations around existing platforms, by combining two of my biggest passions: music and technology.
Which problems could this project solve?
1. With all the benefits of Alexa and voice assistants considered, there are still no visual capabilities, which could be easily solved if a mobile app could operate in real-time along with the Alexa Skill.
2. A huge issue facing the wide-adoption of Alexa Skills is the lack of trust audiences today have around voice-enabled devices. Rather than forcing them to give personal information, they could be offered an alternative platform to make payments on.
3. Different types of content and communication require different channel and platforms to make sure users engage with your brand and don’t find your messages annoying, irritating or intrusive.
The SoundCheck platform is an omni-channel service that lets users search, select and purchase music event tickets from Ticketmaster. The platform uses various technologies allow users to engage with different channels, including:
- An Alexa Skill with search functionality
- A mobile app with listing pages and a chatbot
- An website with user profiles and payment processing
What makes this approach omni-channel?
The SoundCheck platform allows users to pick up their journey across all three touch points, meaning that they can pick up any stage in the process (finding gigs/booking tickets/making payments), on any of the platforms provided (the Alexa Skill, mobile app and website).
1. Finding gigs on the Alexa Skill:
Users can start their journey using any Alexa-enabled device, like the Echo Dot. After opening the Skill with the invocation, users can search for various artists, genres and upcoming gigs in their area. SoundCheck will send results or listings to the mobile app, so users can pick their journey back up on a more suitable platform (providing visual content).
2. Browsing results on the mobile app:
Once users have made a request on SoundCheck, their results are served on the mobile app (avoiding Alexa reading out hours of gig information), these results are based on the parameters used during the search, including different genres of music, locations/areas and dates that gigs are happening.
3. Making payments on the website:
After selecting the gig that users want to attend, their tickets are added to their basket, because the system is set-up with individual profiles, users can process the payment on different platforms, as well as having the option to go back to previous steps in their journey on either the app, website or Alexa Skill.