Insights

Insider Trends: Q&A with Aila CEO Jason Gulbinas

By Aila Staff

August 8, 2018

Insider Trends recently interviewed Aila CEO Jason Gulbinas, covering topics ranging from the future of retail technology and the benefits of using iOS for enterprise solutions to details about our company background and opportunity space.

Here are some highlights from the article:

Aila company overview

At Aila, we’re laser-focused on improving the brick-and-mortar experience for both customers and employees. We deliver seamless experiences for enterprises, uniting physical and digital to engage consumers, empower associates, and streamline workflows.

We make smart hardware that utilizes our proprietary TrueScan software to provide a superior scanning experience. With unmatched scanning precision, speed and versatility, our Interactive Kiosks and Mobile Imagers enable high-value use cases that range from smart fitting room applications and price-checking to inventory look-up, customer check-in, point-of-sale transactions and beyond.

Versatility is core to why we do what we do and what allows us to scale our deployments with clients. A big part of that comes down to how scanning-enabled iOS-based solutions offer such an incredible opportunity to enterprise retail. 

Leveraging the app environment and feature-rich hardware, a retailer could use our Interactive Kiosk as a price checker one day, and pivot to use the same hardware as a self-checkout station the next.

In-store innovation

Personalisation is without a doubt a key feature of the store of the future. The more stores can tailor an experience to the shopper and his or her individual needs, the more likely it is to convert that shopper into a repeat customer.

The store of the future also has to strike the right balance between physical and digital; people may be sick of hearing the phrase “omnichannel,” yet so few retailers have effectively created true omnichannel experiences. To be effective, retailers must have a clear understanding of how a digital solution improves the experience for customers and streamlines the customer journey.

The tech-based challenges retailers face

The biggest challenge many enterprises have to overcome is their current technological debt: they’ve invested millions of dollars in inflexible, silo-ed hardware that doesn’t enable innovation or expansion. Now they’re saddled with this infrastructure that can’t keep up with the increasing demand for smarter, more seamless in-store experiences or more complete data collection to better understand customer needs.

Consumers can go out and buy a new phone every year or two to get the latest features, but enterprise technology stacks are not often built with that level of agility or upgradability. We do think this is rapidly changing, though, as organisations realise the benefits of shifting to more versatile tech stacks, and the risks of not modernising their systems.

Emerging technologies in brick-and-mortar

There’s a huge opportunity for technologies that enable the quick, efficient digitising of physical products and information—scanning, NFC, RFID, and so on.

Right now, scanning is the most efficient way to sync apps with physical devices. This is why we’re seeing retailers like Whole Foods and Starbucks incorporate barcodes and QR codes into their apps—letting consumers generate a code that can be scanned at point of sale, to tie that sale into a loyalty app or the shopper’s Amazon Prime account. There’s opportunity to incorporate that functionality throughout the store, not just at checkout, to make shopping more personalised, more efficient, and more fun.

We’ve learned a lot about the opportunity for digital integration in brick and mortar, and how broad that opportunity is. Applications for using scan-enabled iOS devices extend far beyond retail, into areas like healthcare, logistics, hospitality, and transportation. As we’ve learned how people need touchpoint technology, our products have evolved.

Read the full Q&A at insider-trends.com.

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