SAP HANA and iBeacons, your shopping experience will never be the same!
This is our (Ramon Hutters, Ilhami Yanmaz and myself’s) latest creation we build for the “Spark Innovation Center”. We believe we build something which will revolutionize the way we do shopping today by combining the power of SAP HANA and the power of Apple’s iBeacons.
So what is iBeacon?
iBeacon is an indoor positioning system that Apple Inc. calls “a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence”. iBeacons can also be used by the Android operating system. iBeacon in a single sentence is a technology that enables an iOS device or other hardware to send push notifications to iOS devices within close proximity.
A number of Hardware vendors have created iBeacons dev kits for developers to create apps based on their hardware. For our demo, we selected the markets favorite: Estimote. Estimote is by far the most popular supplier of iBeacon hardware and they delivers an easy to use SDK which can be used as a framework in apps. They basically deliver the physical device required to connect to our iPhones and HANA. Next to this we decided we needed more and therefore also incorporated Passslot into our demo which (as we will see later on) supplies us with an integration with Apple’s Passbook to automatically generate coupon codes and a debit card to pay for goods bought in our made up store, “The Mediva Market”.
So what is the Mediva Market?
The Mediva Market is a made up retail store which sells consumer goods. The thing that Mediva is missing today is a way to personalize the shopping experience of their customers and a way to reward their customers for buying in their a brick and mortar store instead of online. Mediva basically wants to make shopping fun again! Give the option back to try goods before actually buying them. Give the customer the feeling they are never paying to much and most importantly: give shopping a human face again by giving the option of a personal shopping assistant who knows the customers name, knows what they want and knows which tailor made advice they need!
We therefore came up with the following solution:
- A custom app for our clients and
- A fully automated shopping experience by:
- giving our clients an automatically generated debit card when enlisting
- a customized welcome message when they’re entering the store
- giving clients discounted prices of goods to reward them for their loyalty
- giving clients the option of receiving custom support on request, via the app. The so-called shopping assistant!
- giving clients information about products by simply passing a product
- paying automatically for goods by simply scanning Passbook passes. Ofcourse the discount codes in Passbook automatically notify our customer not to forget his discount once he reaches the counter. He never pays to much for his shopping experience.
In return Mediva gets:
- a way to analyse which customers are currently in the store, how often they visit and for how long
- information on how often a customer visits a product before actually buying it
- the option to give a personalised coupon (non transferrable) when we see loyal customers leaving the store to buy online
- to track the number of coupon codes which were given out, how much discount was given and to whom
- to see the amount of missed sales by customers walking away
- a way of cross selling goods e.g. a HDMI cable and a TV set
- a way to handle an incredible amount of volume by using SAP HANA as the underlying backend
- a way of analyzing the generated big data by using SAP Lumira
A full explanation of the scenario including the Lumira Analytics part can be found below:
So what technology did you use?
- SAP HANA for storing our big data, communicating via RESTful services and being the central development platform
- SAP SMP to make our services available to the outside world.
- Special thanks to John van Haandel for making this possible!
- SAP Lumira for the analysis
- Estimote SDK for the iBeacons framework
- Passslot SDK for generating Passbook codes
Every single step in our app is connected to SAP HANA. It truly is the backbone of our application.
So where can I see that app of yours in action?
And ofcourse in Rotterdam. Drop by the CGI Spark Innovation Center when you have some time. We’ll love to show you the ins and outs on how we build this and hope to inspire you to make an awesome app yourself!
Thank you for reading and take care,
Ramon, Ilhami and Ronald.