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Interview with Thomas Battle, COO of Nobal Technologies

21 May 2019

Voice commerce is impacting every industry, with companies integrating voice assistant technology for various strategic objectives. Among the most important of these objectives is to integrate voice into the ordering phase, along with the use of voice in post-purchase activities like tracking existing orders and refilling orders.

voice enabled interactions priorities graph
Adobe Analytics Report

We recently sat down with Thomas Battle, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Nobal Technologies to explore how voice will bring deeper customer engagements to the in-store retail environment.

Tell us a little about Nobal Technologies.

Nobal Technologies believes in re-imagining the human experience through seamless and engaging technology. Our flagship product is the world’s most advanced interactive mirror, the iMirror. By leveraging the best features of online shopping and bringing them to life in the physical world, we’ve re-engineered and enhanced the in-store shopping and fitting room experience with the iMirror.

What do you think voice brings to the retail experience?

The internet has fundamentally changed how people interact with products and brands. Retailers are exploring a new world and trying to define what will become the store of the future. Voice has already made a significant impact in the in-home shopping experience with the ability to ask Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to seamlessly purchase a product for you and have it delivered to your home.

How voice is leveraged in brick and mortar stores has just begun to be explored. We know that voice is a very powerful way to interact with technology. We are really excited to be working with Snips to explore new use cases on the sales floor and in the fitting room.

Thomas Battle, COO of Nobal Technologies

What about Snips technology stood out to you? What makes working with Snips exciting for Nobal?

We recently partnered with a major retailer to explore how voice can elevate the shopping experience in fashion retail stores. We were super excited for this, therefore we immediately attempted an integration with Alexa to power the voice of the iMirror. However, we quickly ran into a number of challenges that we were not able to overcome.

We were thrilled when we initially discovered Snips for its ability to run offline with all process on the local device. This is something that is extremely unique among existing voice platforms. In addition, the loosely coupled architecture allows us to replace Snips components with third-party components if a client specifically requests to work with certain service provider.

What are your customers expecting from a voice assistant? How will adding voice help your clients?

Our customers are looking to create a virtual concierge service that allows their sales associates to do more with less. This includes providing personalized and consistent service, accessing resources and information more quickly and efficiently, and generally increasing basket sizes by reducing the barriers to purchase.

What are the key challenges your clients face when they think about integrating voice into the in-store experience?

Some of the biggest challenges that our clients face certainly include access to a consistent and reliable internet connection. This is still a pretty new requirement for retailers and they are working towards this becoming a standard offering.

What are the most common voice use cases for Nobal’s customers?

We are looking to deploy our voice-enabled virtual concierge on sales floors and in fitting rooms. These concierges will allow shoppers to easily interact with products (both in-store and online), discover more information about the brand, interact with digital experiences in the store (such as taking a selfie with their friends), and always be just a call away from a sales associate no matter where in the store they are.

What does working with Snips give Nobal?

A technology partner that meets our needs and is working with us to help build the store of the future.

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