Valtech Blends Mobile App and Physical Shopping Experiences for Grocers

by Bridget Roman

posted on 11-30-2016

The Experience Manager Mobile team recently challenged a few of our technology partners to create proof-of-concept (POC) apps that highlight the capabilities of Experience Manager Mobile. The integration of Experience Manager and other Adobe Marketing Cloud services reveal how the right tools, technologies, and systems make it possible for apps to be brought to market quickly and work as valuable business tools.

We spoke with Joshua Eli Young, the Vice President of Global Partner Alliances and Strategies at Valtech, about investment in mobile for brick-and-mortar companies who need to deliver relevant, contextual apps that enhance the customer’s in-store experience. Valtech used Experience Manager Mobile to develop a shopping app that blends the possibilities of mobile with a physical shopping experience at a supermarket. Through the app, users create shopping lists, check things off their list, are prompted with healthy recommendations and recipes, and track spending and rewards – and it is all controlled and stored through AEM Mobile. Check out the latest POCs built by Ensemble and Mirum, as well.

Adobe: Tell us about why you created this particular sample app and what the opportunity is for it in the marketplace.

Young: Valtech wanted to build a vision app that could demonstrate ways that customers can move from a digital experience into a physical experience and back to a digital experience while keeping a consistent brand, keeping a seamless, contextual experience between all the different devices, and maintaining ways to interact with a customer. The best way to do that was to build a customer journey. We see this going well beyond what we built for the grocery segment. We can see this app function and help not only grocers, but office supply companies, consumer electronic companies, home improvement stores, big box stores, drug stores, any scenario where a company has many products and a large list of SKUs that have to be managed.

Adobe: You built this app using AEM Mobile and you are pulling much of its content in from AEM. Explain why this is so powerful to retailers.

Young: Because this app was built with AEM Mobile, it was easy to bring in product data stored in AEM to make a seamless experience. Read more about using content from AEM in AEM Mobile apps.

Adobe: Tell us how you’ve integrated device features into the app.

Young: One of the major benefits of using AEM Mobile was the camera feature that we built into the app, which allows us to use the camera of a mobile device to take a photo of a newspaper insert, an ad or an item you might see while at a friends house and use them to assemble a shopping list. That product is actually managed inside AEM, where we store all the product information, the pricing, the details on that product. Through the integration with AEM Mobile we can present that seamlessly to a user.

Adobe: Why was AEM Mobile the right solution for an app like this?

Young: One of the biggest strengths of AEM Mobile is how easy it is for non-technical people to create and manage apps. Unlike building apps using native development that require extensive IT support, a marketing team and their designers can design the app and the navigation, bring in content from a variety of sources whether desktop tools like InDesign, PDF and PPT, or content management systems and DAMS like AEM Sites and Assets. In the case of the grocery app, AEM workflows enable marketers and designers to modify information about products – from pricing to titles to imagery and assets – and drive that into the app experience through AEM Mobile. That creates a whole new dimension of options and power for a marketing team. Managing all of that content centrally, in a single platform like AEM, enables the same set of images to be used across many channels and ensure consistency across the brand and products you’re promoting. That is really only possible using tools like AEM and AEM Mobile in combination and in concert with one another. That is where the real excitement comes from.

Adobe: Why was this a better approach than native development?

Young: It is possible to build an app in a straightforward silo, where developers go off and just build something on their own. Usually, it won’t have the connections or integrations that provide rich and deep functionality for a marketing team to manage. The power comes from leveraging Adobe Marketing Cloud capabilities, leveraging AEM for managing product data, leveraging Target for personalization and Adobe Analytics for capturing data and blending all that together. A consumer experience will be so much richer because they’re going to access more relevant information. They are going to see real-time changes as the marketing team makes them and pushes them to the app, without needing to do things like get app updates from an app store. That can all happen as part of a seamless process.

Learn more about Valtech.

Read this solutions brief to learn more about AEM Mobile for retail.