How product data can increase your ROI

Data is the new gold. Let us give you an example of how you can use your data to fully optimise your business. You have data on customers, employees, processes and especially your products. We’ve already talked about how you can use your customer data to personalisand increase sales in an earlier blog postBut what if we told you that your product data could help you just as much, maybe even more? You can use it to cut costs, shorten your time-to-market and futureproof your business model. 

 

Getting a grip on your product data 

Before you can start harnessing the power of your product data, you have to organise it first. When we talk to a company about their data, we notice that it’s often scattered throughout the whole organisation. Person A has an Excel-file, Department B has built something in their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), while person C has yet another Excel-file… But which system contains the latest versions? 

That’s where Product Information Management systems, or PIM systems for short, will save the day. Simply put, these databases are designed to hold, update and distribute product data to the right people. They connect to a Content Management System (CMS) to place your data in your web shop, they connect to a print plugin that makes generating catalogues much easier and they make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your product specifications. 

 

Shortening your time-to-market with good PIM 

A PIM system comes with a portal that was built specifically for your suppliers to onboard their data. If you’re a retailer or wholesaler, this will be a familiar scenario: One of the brands that you offer releases a new product and you plan on selling it through your online store. How long does this currently take you? 

With a PIM system, the supplier could already fill in most of their specifications in the system themselves. Once one of your employees verifies the data and, if needed, makes some adjustments, it is uploaded, and you are good to go. Of course, you don’t have to worry about suppliers seeing things they shouldn’t see. Their view is restricted to the data of their own products. 

This means that you will only have to spend a few minutes to make sure that a product is ready to be published on your store. But also edits can be done so much faster than before. In roughly 8 minutes a product can be updated, processed and online, which is roughly 30% shorter than it is for most companies. In a time where speed is of utmost importance, this could give you a significant advantage against your competitors. 

 

Catching the wave of the long tail 

However, increased speed isn’t the only advantage. You can finally make use of what’s called “the long tail of the internet”. In essence, companies that adopt a long tail strategy dramatically increase their product assortment through niche products. These products then come with higher margins. Since the costs of adding them to your store is much lower than they used to be, it’s a good investment, even if you don’t sell that many of them. 

Since these niche items often don’t get a lot of traffic, they don’t tend to receive much love and care from the product data teams. Other products that drive more traffic will always be a priority. However, now that the suppliers can do a part of that work for you, it’s far easier to manage the quality of the data and imagery that’s being displayed. 

 

Saving money on returns 

Returns are an enormous source of cost for many companies. According to Trusted Shops, fashion has to deal with a return rate of up to 30%. The logistical costs and man-hours that have to be invested to handle the entire return process can quickly start to eat into your revenue. 

The best solution for your problems with returns would be to offer more and high-quality data on your product pages. Through a PIM system, your data would be more consistent, more complete and contain less errors. As a result these three factors would decrease your amount of returns immensely. 

Chatbots, tools to be treated with caution!

Chatbots are often seen as an easy solution to avoid overloading call centers. However, before setting one up, you need to ask yourself three key questions to decide whether a chatbot really is the right option: at what point of the customer journey will it be positioned? Where will it be on the website and what will it look like? 

 

MAN V MACHINE

The first question is all about the risk of dehumanising the customer journey as a result of automation. You need to determine at different points of the relationship whether the user expects a human touch or if dealing with a machine is acceptable. At certain stages of the journey, all users need to talk to a real person who can show some empathy. 

What’s next? You then need to carefully check there aren’t any other bots. Today, this is an issue we face: there are multiple bots at the same business… getting in each other’s way! As a result, customers might not know which bot to speak to and businesses lose coherency 

 

MANAGING THE ENVIRONMENT

You need to examine the customer environment and technical environment in depth. People focus a lot on functional scope and the way in which the bot will manage to understand people, at the expense of its integration. However, this is a key underlying customer journey issue. 

For example, if the bot opens a new tab to redirect you to another page: how do you guarantee the continuity of the relationship whilst allowing the bot to appear in this new space? As to this issue, the first question to ask yourself is not necessarily the most obvious: where should the bot appear, to be visible when the user needs it? Likewise, how should it look to make sure that people understand the help it can provide? Other, more complex questions can then be asked such as: in what circumstances should the bot redirect the user to a human operator, and to whom? Or even how do you manage customers’ understandable frustration when they’re told about a major delay or technical issue?  

Plus, the bot operates in a technical environment that it needs to understand. This is an essential element of industrialisation yet is often forgotten at the start of bot projects. Likewise, the bot’s deployment can raise confidentiality and GDPR compliance issues, particularly if personal information is provided. How will it access the data it sometimes needs to answer questions? More simply, does it meet the business’s security standards?  

The best solution to handling these issues is to properly take account of the business and technical aspects, ensure they don’t clash, and above all include a test phase proportional to the scale of the project. The creation of a test guide will allow you to make sure all the aspects of the bot are tested and educate it more easily.  

 

CHATBOTS: A SERIOUS BUSINESS

The biggest danger of a poorly-developed and poorly-integrated bot is doing damage to the brand’s image: a bad bot is a business that responds poorly to its customers. A recent Forrester survey showed that users tend to increasingly approach bots with caution… It’s not a subject to be taken lightly! In addition to the technical side, good support must provide expertise linking front and back. Frontend needs to guarantee a high-quality experience and a bot that gives appropriate answers. Backend must provide resources and an environment to easily integrate it. For businesses, chatbots are a genuine challenge in terms of reputation and public image. 

 

[SUCCESS STORY] SILVERSEA - Full steam ahead to digital!

Silversea, the luxury cruise line, is known to offer passengers dream destinations and unforgettable experiences.

 

Success story silversea eng

In 2017, Silversea wanted to develop its brand image and offer a personalised experience to its customers even before they step on board through a new digital platform.

Discover how Silversea, SQLI and Adobe Teams succeed to create a customised user experience and improve the conversion rate by 66%.

 

Download our Silversea success story

[SUCCESS STORY] GENERALI : an omnichannel customer website

Generali France wanted to upgrade its customer portal and the generali.fr website by adopting a more modern tool with a new interface.

 

Success story generali eng

 

 

The aim : a totally new customer relationship where digital technology acts as a catalyst.

Discover how Generali France and the SQLI teams created a new website, with an enriched customer journey, a smoother navigation and a better service for the final users – by using the Agile method.

Download the Generali success story

10 SEO essentials when publishing an article online

Writing for the web involves a number of SEO requirements, which must be borne in mind for any article. While there are very many criteria for an article to be well ranked by search engines, we have picked ten simple, but essential rules to follow! 

1.Search for keywords using free SEO tools 

There are a number of free tools available to help you find keywords and, more importantly, keywords frequently used in online searches. I recommend the following: 

  • Google Keyword Planner  
    This tool produced by Google provides keyword lists, with monthly search volumes, offering a guide as to which terms to choose. In order to use it, you simply need an active Adwords account to see exact volumes. Otherwise, the tool only provides estimations. 
     
  • Google Trends
    As its name suggests, this tool, also from Google, allows you to see search trends for a given keyword. It offers the advantage of being able to compare trends for several keywords. 
  • Suggestion Keyword Finder
    This third tool provides keyword ideas, but without related volumes. You can use its three-level system to get many variations based on the target keyword. 
  • Soovle
    Soovle provides ideas for keywords to use and lets you save them in lists. 

2.Insert the keyword in the “Google title” (aka HTML title) 

Once you have selected your keyword, you can start to create content. 

The HTML title of a page plays an essential role in its optimisation (and, therefore, its ranking). Ideally, the HTML title should be the same as the title of your article and must contain the keyword. 

You should also try to keep titles short (70 characters maximum), so make them succinct! 

3.Insert the keyword in the lead 

The lead is the article’s introductory paragraph. It should, by definition, be shorter than the body of the text and mention the target keyword at least once. In terms of length, the lead should ideally contain at least 160 characters. 

4.Use synonyms 

You may use synonyms of the keyword(s) to avoid repeating terms too often and make the article more pleasant to read. Google has introduced a system that automatically includes synonyms in search results. For example, ‘film’ and ‘movie’ describe the same concept. 

Try to make sure that the result is natural. 

5. Add subheadings 

Well-ranked content is structured using subheadings. These should be informative and enable readers, and Google, to rapidly scan the page.  Insert your target keyword in at least one of the subheadings. 

6. Aim for at least 1200 characters or 250 words 

Google only considers articles of at least 1200 characters (around 250 words) to be relevant. It rarely highlights short articles.  

Be careful, however, with long articles: I would recommend dividing these into several pages to improve engagement. For example, if the length exceeds 1000 words. 

Ideally, use the target keyword two or three times in the article. There is no ideal number of repetitions for the keyword, but avoid repeating it too often. 

7.Include internal links 

In order to further improve the visibility of your article, remember to include at least one link to a related article on your website. If the target keyword is in the text containing the URL, all the better. 

8.Include external links (with caution) 

Use of external sources is also recommended. This is one of the basics of SEO. However, they should be selected with caution: avoid inserting an active link to a page on a direct competitor’s website. Otherwise, you will increase the competitor’s standing in search results. 

I would advise inserting a link to a page on the website of an indirect competitor, such as Wikipedia, an institution or a local authority. 

9.Tag

The final step before publication: tagging. Tags allow your article to be listed according to the subject covered, making it easier for search engines to find and, therefore, for Internet users to read. Use three at the most and check whether they exist already. 

Also, tags must be in the form of a complete name. For example, write ‘Harry Kane’ instead of just ‘Kane’, and ‘United Kingdom’ instead of ‘UK’. The singular form should also be preferred (for example: “economic crisis”). 

10.Share your article on social networks 

Now it’s time to promote your article! A link on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks can speed up indexation of your article and, therefore, boost its presence on Google (Google News in particular). 

These ten golden SEO rules for publishing online are simple to follow and do not require advanced SEO knowledge. They are accessible for all web writers, so start writing! 

Do you speak NLP?

Anglophones communicate in English, francophones in French and hispanophones in Spanish. Humans use natural language to speak to each other, but how do they communicate with computers?  

Programming languages are reserved for an elite part of the population known as ‘developers’. To enable ‘normal people’ to communicate with a computer programme, there are two options available:  

  • Teach them the language of computers, which on paper is far from being the best solution. Saying “hello you” in binary code means writing “01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101”. 
  • Teach computers to understand natural language. This field is known as Natural Language Processing (NLP) 

‘NLP’ did you say? 

NLP is a field that brings together techniques enabling a computer programme to understand and analyse natural language. It is formed of two main components:  

  • NLU (Natural Language Understanding);
  • NLG (Natural Language Generation). Certain artificial intelligences are able to write screenplays, for example. The AI named Benjamin, designed by researcher Ross Goodwin and film-maker Oscar Sharp, created the screenplay for the short film Sunspring.

Is saying ‘hello’ a problem for NLP? 

Because Natural Language Processing is an algorithm that does what is asked of it, it is confronted with the problem of the ambiguity of natural language. An algorithm is a set of instructions to be executed without ambiguity. However, natural language is anything but unambiguous. A word can have several meanings depending on context. For example, the word ‘opera’ is a noun and also related to the verb ‘operate’. Elsewhere, we can use several words to say the same thing. To greet somebody, we can say ‘hello’, ‘hi’, ‘hey’, ‘yo‘, ‘howdy’ or ‘wassup‘ for example.  When texting or chatting we also often use abbreviations, which makes understanding words even more complex for a computer programme.  

Another problem encountered by NLP is coreference. Take the following example:  

“I like Hulk Hogan because he reminds me of my childhood” he said. 

For us humans, understanding this sentence is easy: the first ‘he’ refers to ‘Hulk Hogan’, while the second ‘he’ refers to ‘I’. Performing this analysis is not so easy for a computer programme. 

In addition, there are variations in the alphabet and grammatical syntax from language to language, misuse of language and neologisms (such as the verb ‘to Google’). In short, speaking a language is an intellectual feat in itself. If you are able to read and understand this, you are a genius. Well, you beat artificial intelligence in this area at least.  

A robot that speaks like a human 

NLP is particularly used for chatbots. In May 2018, Google presented Google Duplex. This conversational agent is able to make an appointment over the telephone without the person on the other end of the line realising that they are not speaking with a human. According to Google, it can handle four out of five calls. If it is unable to understand the person, the call is rerouted to a call centre where a human takes over. The presentation made a big impression because it demonstrated not only a good understanding of natural language (NLU), but above all a strong ability to generate natural language (NLG). However, while they are useful and impressive in certain cases, conversational agents are far from reaching their maximum potential. 

The Siri of the future: a Jarvis Jr. 

Hey Siri, can you find a summer job for my daughter in Singapore? Writer a cover letter for her, and three different CVs for different types of companies, to match what they’re looking for. And make sure it doesn’t clash with her horse-riding competition. And, one last thing, find her an apartment with a good location for the job you find for her!“. Idriss Aberkane in Regards Connectés, episode 32 

It seems like science fiction, but we’re getting there fast. Today, AI is able to make appointments with ease and write screenplays for films. So why couldn’t it take care of this type of request? AI’s role is to accomplish tasks that would take us a long time in a matter of minutes. 

While we have seen many advances in the area of artificial intelligence, it is still far from the level of human intelligence. While it is often demonised, AI will (like mobile phones and the Internet) become harnessed and popularised. It will not be rare to see conversational agents acting like real personal assistants. 

Monolithic applications are not always inevitable. Micro-services architectures

The application in question is a 15-year-old monitoring application that is still developed in the same way but by a multitude of contributors, both internal and external. The technologies used are Struts 1.x, Java, an improbably-persistent framework and a large number of stored procedures.

The height of happiness for both the developer (What?! Are projects still being produced using this tech?) and the user (with a “blank” when pages refresh) and even for the application manager (security issues, staffing, maintenance costs, etc.).

After nearly 3 years, I left this project because I thought I’d seen everything there was to see and, above all, I couldn’t take it anymore!

Nevertheless, it was a good experience and I met lots of great people, and I’d always thought we needed to stop doing things this way and decided to rewrite this app.

After a 3-year break, in 2014, the customer wanted me to get on board as architect/tech lead on a new project. Of course, we treated ourselves, using all the latest fashionable frameworks and a state-of-the-art user interface (based on 1.x angular and bootstrap).
With the project finished and success guaranteed, it was time to return to that monolithic app with this crazy idea of starting over.

Doing things differently, yes, but how? Stopping developments for a multi-month rewriting period was not an option. Then, I had the opportunity to attend Devoxx conferences in Paris in 2014, which particularly focused on micro-services architecture. One of these presentations told the tale of rewriting a full project using micro-services.
The solution was staring me in the face!

It was the best approach to finally put this monolithic app’s work-intensive and time-consuming development cycles to bed. Making things smaller, much smaller, using independent parts.
So I learned about micro-services architecture, prepared the environments, and “evangelised” the different stakeholders.

We had to meet a new particularly niche business demand. Tracking exchanges between the application’s different users. Therefore, we had an opportunity to prove its feasibility.

I started writing a new application, only handling this very specific need, to be added to the monolithic app. An Angular application run parallel to the Struts monitoring application.
One evening, as I was finalising my ‘POC’, the project manager saw how both projects could be jointly integrated. Three was a new tab on the left-hand side of the existing application: by clicking on it, a panel slid over to reveal all the features of this communication module.
She was pleasantly surprised with the result and finally saw proof that it actually was possible to do things differently.

All that was left to do was to set up the back-end with all the components needed to make this type of architecture work and get the infrastructure team on board for the adventure.

Today, 25 micro-services and 2 Angular applications (1.x and 5) run on this platform and it’s only the start!

Digital identity, an essential aspect of the omni-channel experience

The Stanford University and Visa study “The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity confirms that digital identity has become a core issue in terms of new practices. In an omni-channel experience, where the notion of location is secondary to that of a fluid journey, identity management can fast become a stumbling block, and undermine the experience as a whole. As predicted by Scott Galloway, the way in which we define and validate our personal identity is a key issue this year. 

 

Digital identity: the standards you need to know about

This trend is being confirmed with the implementation of standards, and mainly: 

  • The GDPR (May 2018) that expands on the protection of personal data, through the principle of explicit consent in particular; 
  • The WebAuthn standard (W3C) by the FIDO Alliance (4th March 2019), which reduces reliance on passwords in favour of strong authentication through biometrics (FIDO2);  
  • The 2nd section of PSD2 (payment services directive), which is due to come into force in September 2019, aims to reinforce the security of financial transactions through strong customer authentication with a minimum of two factors. These factors could be a code, a password, a device, or biometric data (fingerprint, voice, iris, etc.).  

PSD2 also provide access to bank data through a secure API for Payment Initiation Service Providers (PaypalHiPay, SOFORT, Adyen, etc.) and account aggregators (LinxoBankin’, etc.). This puts an end to screen-scraping (the collection of screen display data). 

Brands are therefore having to rethink or strengthen identity management. 

 

What impact will this have on the digital world?

1.Ways of authenticating one’s identity

The implementation of strong authentication (Strong Customer Authentication, SCA), required by the FIDO Alliance and PSD2, is certainly the most challenging change for commercial and financial exchange platforms 

Market researcher 451 Research has found that many companies are not entirely aware of the impact of SCA. Our survey shows that companies are not properly prepared, and what is even more worrying is that they don’t fully appreciate the way in which SCA will transform online purchasing for European consumers says Jordan McKee, an analyst who works for the firm. 

This authentication will oblige companies to rethink the experience so as to take into account both the device being used and its biometric capacities. There will be several possible scenarios depending on your users’ level of knowledge, and the software architecture you have. This architecture will need to evolve to include trusted third parties to manage the authentication process, new biometric capacities, and data collection in keeping with GDPR directives. 

 

2.Personalisation of the user experience

Knowledge of the customer is essential to personalisation, and has therefore become the new godsend of any marketing approach. But this knowledge must be able to identify customers so as to give them profiles to make their individual experiences unique.  

Platforms that do not comply with these standards won’t be able to provide a personalised experience. It is therefore essential to begin integrating these new means of identification as quickly as possible. 

However, it isn’t always necessary to identify the user. Amazon has devised a recommendation system based on the product instead of the customer. By analysing the customer’s path, the system deduces a chart of inter-related products. Seeing as consumers can be versatile, it makes more sense for Amazon to base their process on products. 

 

3.Simplified payment

Newly simplified payments are resulting in transformations in points of sale and purchases. Retailers are taking a close look at mobile checkout solutions such as Square and SumUp, or concepts like Amazon Go and SmartShelf. SmartShelf technology offers the Frictionless Shopping” model, in which checkouts are replaced by computer vision. Cameras are linked to artificial intelligence, which analyses videos live. AI identifies a consumer and their feelings, and detects both their behaviour and movements, which means it is able to charge customers for the contents of their baskets in real time without them having to go through the checkout. 

And this is only the beginning, with the increase in facial recognition technology in China. Following in the footsteps of Sephora, Carrefour recently inaugurated its new French-style concept store on the famous Wangfujing Street in Beijing. It includes numerous innovations, in particular payment through facial recognition; a system launched in April 2019 in its 210 hypermarkets in Chian, in partnership with Tencent via WeChat. (SourceL’Usine Digitale 

But it still pays to be careful. Facebook Messenger’s experience in Europe shows that some methods of payment just don’t appeal to users. Furthermore, although GDPR and PSD2 are more secure, they also make the payment process more complicated, which is what Facebook found daunting in its experiment. The act of paying for something is still seen as sacred in Europe. 

 

4.Digital identity versus civil identity

This digital transformation is leading us into a digitised world that boasts lots of services and products, in which our digital identity will be as strong as our ID documents, thanks to technology and regulations that will make it unique and forgery-proof. 

Le Vote, Orange’s Civic Tech programme solution, relies on this digital identity to provide a solution for municipalities that wish to consult their citizens in local matters. The solution includes a website for elected representatives and a mobile application for citizens based on blockchain technology, to guarantee the security of polling. Le Vote is already in use in several municipalities in France, and will soon be available on an international level. 

It is easy to imagine that economy, performance and productivity logic will quicken the pace of this digital transformation. It will soon be increasingly difficult to do without a digital identity, to access State services (as in Estonia, where everything is done online), at work or in everyday life (and it has already begun).  

Customer experience: How personalised should your e-mail be?

I made up my mind to buy some furniture online after thinking about it for a little while.

The time came to place the order:
– I want the furniture to be delivered to the store then pick up the parcel, which is pretty bulky, but I’m informed that’s impossible
– That means it has to be delivered to my home, but that’s not convenient for me
– I’m told the shipping costs are proportional to the value of the order (€60 in shipping costs)
– The cart empties when I reload the page
– When I decide to pay, the payment is refused for no reason

After several attempts and a good dose of determination, I manage to place the order online all the same and the delivery is scheduled for a few days later.
In the end, I’m happy with my purchase, but my online customer experience was catastrophic. After pinging the brand on Twitter to report the issue, I would have appreciated a note in the parcel or an e-mail to apologise. I certainly would have shared this nice little touch on Twitter.

What I appreciated

I received an e-mail a few days later proposing ornaments and other furniture that might match what I just bought.
I find this e-mail entirely relevant and interesting as I bought a bookcase, but it’s true that I don’t have any ornaments to decorate it. So I appreciated this suggestion.

 

What I wouldn’t have appreciated and my recommendations

However, I would have found it inappropriate to receive a cart abandonment e-mail (as is very often the case) when I tried to place an order on the site but couldn’t for technical reasons.

A cart abandonment e-mail can prove highly effective provided it’s relevant. With this in mind, we could for example consider asking the reasons for the abandonment.

The e-mail could read as follows: “Have you completed your purchase? Tell us why not so we can help you!”

– I didn’t have time to complete my purchase + (CTA (Call To Action) : Continue my purchase)
– I’m wondering about the product’s characteristics + (CTA: Be called back by an advisor)
– I don’t have the necessary funds + (CTA: Pay in 3 interest-free instalments)
– I can’t place the order for technical reasons + (CTA: Be contacted by our customer service department)
– I’m waiting for an offer to reduce the price + (CTA:  Sign up to our newsletter)

I think that e-mail personalisation is important as we all want to be considered as unique and “important” consumers. However, in my opinion, it must not be systematic. It must be well thought-out to avoid scaring customers off.

For e-mail personalisation, possible questions include:
– In what context is this e-mail sent?
– What are the circumstances? The trigger?
– Am I going to apply the same level of personalisation for all my segments? For example, an “ambassador” consumer can appreciate receiving a highly personalised e-mail but a prospect might be surprised.
– Is it compatible with the GDPR? And by extension, is the consumer aware of the information I have on them?

The GDPR requires explicit consent to be given by the consumer to use their data. They must also be told what it will be used for.
And why not make the most of this opportunity to remind them that their data means we can send them more relevant messages? This will make them aware and undoubtedly more amenable if they give their consent.

Let’s simply try to be genuinely customer-centred to propose them a level of personalisation meeting their expectations of the brand. They’ll certainly be more receptive!

VIVATECH 2019: hyper-personalisation and the taxi of the future

This 4th edition of the Viva Technology conference, which brought together no less than 124,000 visitors over a period of 3 days in Paris in May, put two technological issues in the limelight (thanks to the Cannes Film Festival!), namely hyper-personalisation (which was at the heart of all the new experiences on display) and the flying taxi.

Hyper-personalisation boosted by artificial intelligence

Hyper-personalised experiences were the star attraction of the event, as was the case during the Retail Big Show in New York. All the main fashion and retail brands are in agreement about the importance of this approach, which is made possible thanks to the algorithmic analysis of collected data (in other words, artificial intelligence). We can only admit that we have moved on, from an approach based on “cost saving” technological innovation to improve the internal process, to an approach based on “growth hacking” for a change of scale. Performance marketing has become precision marketing, to create personalised experiences according to data collected during each interaction with the consumer.

Artificial intelligence uses machine learning algorithms to concentrate on added-value data (80% of “parasite data” is thus eliminated according to P&G). As for augmented reality, it is a way of supplying information directly and in situ via a phone, headset or glasses. Customer interaction is also at the heart of preoccupations, with increasing needs in mobility – anytime, anywhere -, new channels such as voice (through mobile phones, connected speakers, etc.) and the pursuit of direct exchanges with consumers through social networks.

 

Here are a few examples in the worlds of fashion, health and retail that caught our attention.

 

Vivatech 1

L’Oréal devoted its stand to hyper-personalisation, through various experiences that shine a spotlight on technology and the user experience. We discovered SkinConsult AI, which combines L’Oréal expertise and deep learning (provided by ModiFace, recently purchased by the brand) to interpret selfies and produce a personalised analysis of your skin in real time with augmented reality, and therefore recommend the right treatment.

Shopitag, an omni-channel commerce solution developed by the Belgian company Infiniti Mobile, provides a framework of tools for customer interactions (chat, voice, social media) all the way to logistics including the  integration of business solutions (SAP, Salesforce, etc.). They put their expertise and platform at the disposal of customers to make the most of commercial momentum, regardless of the sales channel, by creating contextualised offers which are suggested to customers at the right moment.

CareOS is the first operating system (OS) devoted to health and beauty specifically designed for smart bathrooms. From connected showers to scales, including such things as toothbrushes, more than 50 IoT devices, products and services are currently available on the platform. As seen during a demonstration at the LVMH stand, Artemis, its smart mirror, combines artificial intelligence, augmented reality, voice command, object recognition and facial recognition for an immersive personalised experience. This mirror is capable of recognising its user, capturing certain physiological indicators (thanks to a connected bracelet), giving reminders about appointments for that particular day as well as the weather report, suggesting hairdressing tutorials, or shopping for products directly by scanning the label… A very wide range of services: video link

 

Could we be using flying taxis by 2025?

As for transport, there’s a real trend towards urban mobility, with the presentation of several flying taxi prototypes, combining drones, helicopters and light passenger aircrafts. Most of the solutions concern urban transport for home/work or airport/city centre trips.

Vivatech 2

The most extravagant one was the Slovakian AeroMobil, currently working on the 4th version of its flying car, which is capable of morphing into a small plane (with a 9-metre wingspan) in less than 3 minutes. This two-seater vehicle (with a 240 kg carrying capacity) will be able to cover a distance of 750 km at a maximum cruising speed of 260 km/hour. All you will have to do is head to the nearest airstrip or take the motorway.

The most operational is HoverTaxi, a new type of two-seater electric aircraft (multi-rotor) that relies on a land-based infrastructure of modular containers, an air traffic management interface in urban areas, and a mobile application for bookings. Like the other companies, it focuses on urban and suburban transport, and ultimately on four types of use.

  • Event: Nice/Monaco during the Monte-Carlo tennis tournament
  • Point to point: Orly Airport / Gare de Lyon in Paris
  • Recreational: to get a bird’s-eye view of certain sites and natural areas
  • City trips: to link strategic points

To be profitable, the price of a 30-minute run should cost about fifty euros.

The most promising was Ascendance Flight Technologies, a French start-up created in 2018 by former Airbus R&D teams, and project E-FAN, who developed a technology that enables planes to take off and land vertically. The idea is to provide an urban taxi service (point to point) that fits in with existing infrastructures (heliport network), with low noise pollution and operating costs. Currently in the prototype phase on a 1/3 scale, the airborne taxi concept will be equipped with hybrid engines (a unique and patented propulsion system). It will be able to carry four people within a 150 km radius at a speed of 200 km/hour. Hybrid motorisation is only the 1st stage. They aim for it to be 100% electric. Its commissioning date is scheduled for 2024. In the meantime, they must get their prototype up to scale and successfully obtain all the necessary certifications. Several partnerships with airports, cities (European and Asian) and helicopter operators are currently under discussion. Watch this space!

 

This 4th edition of the event kept all its promises and provided guidance to the digital transformation currently gathering momentum in all areas of the market, thanks to increasingly mature technologies.