OCM Boosts Customer Experience with AI-Driven Networking | Juniper Global Summit
Outletcity delivers a seamless shopping experience with Juniper Mist.
To digitalize and offer visitors the best shopping experience possible, Outletcity deployed Juniper wireless networking, powered by Mist AI. The Wi-Fi covers 40,000 square meters of retail floor space and supports Outletcity’s mobile app, retail analytics, and COVID-safe shopping. Watch this video to find out how.
How Outletcity delivers an optimized Wi-Fi experience in a retail environment
How Outletcity increased Wi-Fi coverage 10x
How the Juniper wireless networks helps Outletcity give shoppers a more seamless shopping experience
Who is this for?
0:57 -Hello everyone, my name is James Morgan
1:00 and I'm vice president of enterprise for EMEA at Juniper Networks.
1:03 Joining me today are Simon Drees
1:05 who is the director of omnichannel services
1:07 and innovation and Sebastian Stelter,
1:09 project manager and service support team lead
1:11 at Outlet City Metzingen.
1:14 OCM and Juniper have got a long-standing partnership focusing
1:17 on offering visitors the best shopping experience
1:19 across any touchpoint.
1:21 To achieve greater digitalization of the shopping experience,
1:24 it is deployed Juniper wireless networking powered by Mist AI.
1:28 The Wi-Fi covers 40,000 square meters retail floor space
1:31 as well as outdoor areas and parking garages.
1:34 Gentlemen, welcome, and thank you for joining me today.
1:37 Juniper and Outlet City Metzingen or OCM
1:40 as I've called it already, we've partnered together
1:42 to achieve greater digitalization of your shopping experience.
1:45 Can you just tell us how OCM's vision
1:48 and the strategy you are taking to be able
1:49 to innovate in digitalization?
1:52 -Yes, sure, James.
1:53 Thanks again for the invitation.
1:56 First of all, let me introduce Outlet City Metzingen
1:59 because I think that some of you don't know it already.
2:04 So Outlet City is one of the biggest factory outlets in Europe.
2:08 More than 500 brands in our channels.
2:11 And our Outlet itself is located in Metzingen.
2:14 It's a small town about 30 kilometers south of Stuttgart.
2:17 And you know Stuttgart where Porsche and Mercedes are from.
2:20 -Oh, yes.
2:22 -And pre pandemic 2019,
2:24 we had about 4.5 million shoppers from around the globe.
2:28 What's special for us is that one-third
2:31 of the revenues is done from customers outside Europe,
2:35 especially from China, Russia, and the Arabic countries.
2:39 We've got premium and especially luxury brands like Prada,
2:43 Burberry, Moncler, Nike, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, and so on,
2:48 but one thing that makes Outlet City really special is
2:51 that we were the first location,
2:54 the first fashion outlet with an online shop.
2:56 We launched back in 2012.
2:58 Due to this online shop,
3:00 we gained really strong know-how
3:02 in the future of digitalization like online marketing,
3:06 building a shop, building websites, create content,
3:09 do websites analytics, and so on.
3:12 Both channels, the retail business
3:14 and also the eCommerce profit from this know-how, of course.
3:18 Our mission is to provide the best shopping experience
3:21 for our guests in all channels, retail and online.
3:24 To do this, we need digitally-driven towards
3:28 as part of this experience.
3:30 A few years ago, in 2018,
3:33 we initialized an omnichannel program
3:35 to deliver this exact experience.
3:37 For example, we came up with was a loyalty concept,
3:40 the Outlet City Club, where our customers can collect points
3:44 for the revenues or a whole new Outlet City smartphone app,
3:47 which helps the customers when he is in Metzingen to navigate,
3:52 to find special offers, and so on.
3:55 On top of this,
3:56 we have a state-of-the-art footfall tracking both indoor
3:59 and outdoor to get like Google Analytics insights
4:04 of our retail business and,
4:06 of course, we have a powerful free Wi-Fi especially
4:10 for our non-European guests I mentioned before.
4:14 -Obviously 2020 brought a lot of changes to many industries,
4:18 and particularly the retail and fashion industry has barely
4:22 been out of the front page press
4:24 in terms of the challenges there.
4:26 How have you embraced technology to extend the reach
4:28 of your selling and distribution channels?
4:31 -Yes, James.
4:32 As you can imagine, COVID-19 impacted heavily.
4:35 Just let me give you an example.
4:37 In Germany right now we have strict
4:39 regulations regarding retail shopping.
4:41 There are limits on how many guests
4:43 are allowed per square meter in the stores.
4:45 Normally this will lead to heavy queuing
4:47 in front of the stores, would be really,
4:49 really crowdy in Metzingen, which we don't want, of course.
4:52 To avoid it and to make shopping more convenient
4:56 on the one side and also more safe
4:58 on the other side is that our developers
5:01 created the mobile check-in within a few weeks.
5:03 The mobile check-in is a web app
5:05 where a guest scans the QR code
5:07 in front of the store and then is queued up virtually
5:10 and as the guest sees when it's time to go
5:12 to the store and make use of the spare time like,
5:16 for example, have a coffee or visit another store.
5:19 The doorman of the brands have a special view
5:22 in this web app where they can see the allowed limit
5:25 of customers and the current utilization.
5:28 To make this mobile check-in happening,
5:30 we need the footfall sensors,
5:31 we need the Wi-Fi for the guests and the doorman, of course,
5:34 and we need this digital know-how we gained
5:38 through our online shopping experience.
5:40 Here you can see how different parts
5:42 of the digital infrastructure enable new services on top of it,
5:46 and in sometimes mobile check-in really made
5:49 the difference for us between
5:51 able to open up or to be on lockdown.
5:54 It's absolutely business-critical.
5:56 Of course, our online shop also became much more important.
6:00 When there was a complete lockdown last year,
6:03 of course, our retail business was closed too,
6:05 but despite all other outlets,
6:07 we were able to continue business through our online shopping.
6:11 Even before 2020, the online business was growing strongly,
6:14 like 20% or 30% per year, but 2020 really topped it all
6:19 and the numbers have gone through the roof.
6:22 The success of our online shop is really amazing.
6:26 We also had a need to find ways to reach new customers
6:32 as well as engage existing customers.
6:35 Social commerce and event-based shopping
6:38 has really, really taken off.
6:40 We were using Instagram, WhatsApp, live streaming events
6:46 which is very popular with customers in China.
6:50 Let me throw in some numbers.
6:54 2019 Taobao Life, that's in Alibaba's streaming platform
7:02 made already over $2.85 billion in revenue
7:09 with the single-day shopping event, with one event.
7:12 That's over 7.5% of Alibaba Group's overall revenue.
7:17 That are really big numbers, so sounds great, right?
7:22 What about the potential in Germany?
7:26 China is really big.
7:28 That's a whole different game.
7:30 What's the potential here in Germany beyond
7:36 the influencer management and already known
7:39 and successful social media strategy?
7:43 Our own sales and tourism team has proven
7:47 that high numbers on live streaming viewers
7:50 and views are also achievable here in Germany.
7:53 For example, our China team managed
7:55 to get over 112,000 viewers with
7:59 one-day live streaming event last year, and that's in Metzingen.
8:05 They were setting a record
8:07 on the popular Chinese traveling team platform,
8:11 Mafengwo, and until today,
8:16 so that's a great success, I think.
8:19 Outlet City Metzingen is a top destination for customer's shopping,
8:26 shoppers not only in Europe but worldwide.
8:30 The enormous potential is there
8:33 and we are closely working together
8:36 with international companies, platforms,
8:38 influencers, brand partners to find
8:43 and test successful concepts.
8:45 It really is an important market for OCM.
8:50 Really, Juniper Technology helps us
8:54 to reach our goals by providing a great Wi-Fi experience.
8:59 I think that the technical infrastructure overall we've built
9:04 is the base for everything we do.
9:08 -Truly impressive, again,
9:10 when you think an Outlet City and a destination,
9:12 a physical geographic destination but,
9:14 of course, you use technology just
9:16 to smash all the boundaries geographically
9:19 and I think also demographically.
9:21 Absolutely very, very impressive and huge,
9:25 huge numbers and statistics.
9:27 Of course, also reacting to the challenges
9:30 of a pandemic and the platform that gives you
9:33 the ability to ebb and flow with that.
9:36 How do you see the needs and the demands
9:39 of the retail customers and,
9:41 of course, the brands as well,
9:42 because you have a number of stakeholders
9:44 that you need to keep satisfied.
9:45 How do you see that changing, going forward?
9:49 -Due to COVID-19,
9:51 there's a tremendous acceleration of the digitalization,
9:55 as you can see by the examples
9:56 that Sebastian and I have given before.
9:58 There is no going back.
10:00 In future, both the digital
10:03 and the traditional distribution channels will embrace
10:06 and get stronger altogether.
10:08 Also, new technology will enable new features.
10:11 One example I came across was a real-time track
10:16 and analysis of in-store customers
10:19 where an AI does an analysis,
10:23 whether, for example, it's necessary to open a new register
10:26 even before there is a queue of the already open registers.
10:30 Also, a big trend for the fashion industry is sustainability.
10:35 It's not totally connected to digital business,
10:40 but it's a absolute global megatrend and it's far beyond fashion,
10:44 and especially fashion is not a perfect track record
10:47 when it comes to sustainability.
10:49 There will be
10:50 big changes and there are already
10:52 some good things going on like,
10:54 for example, Outlet City is producing green energy
10:57 with solar and water power and this
10:59 energy is used in our stores.
11:02 We are providing our retailers with green energy
11:05 and also we are providing charging points
11:08 for electric cars for our customers, for our guests.
11:11 We use super-eco-friendly LED lighting settings.
11:16 What's not just we as Outlet City,
11:17 but also our brands find new ways
11:20 when it comes to sustainability like producing
11:23 more eco-friendly products with organic cotton,
11:26 which are fair traded and so on.
11:28 You can see the whole industry is changing
11:32 when it comes to this part.
11:36 -Very impressive.
11:37 I think across the number of different verticals
11:39 and industries we see similar trends.
11:41 Being somebody who's just invested in an electronic vehicle,
11:45 the charging points automatically,
11:46 it means that's the destination I head for.
11:50 It makes a real difference,
11:51 so I certainly appreciate that as well on a personal level.
11:54 Juniper, our True North, our mission statement
11:58 is all about experience and experience first networking.
12:01 You talked about a couple of examples there
12:04 where customers experience,
12:05 where predictive analytics play a role.
12:09 What's your view on this in more detail maybe,
12:12 and how are you really driving
12:14 that user experience for your customers
12:17 and the brands that you work with?
12:19 -James, I think a great experience
12:22 is based on many different factors.
12:25 We aim to develop ourselves
12:28 to a fully customer-centric thinking company.
12:32 That means we want and we must build
12:36 a great relationship with our customers and partners.
12:40 This can be achieved in many ways,
12:44 but one thing is really essential.
12:48 We must create a great experience
12:51 at any touchpoint with our customers and partners.
12:56 We are working hard with our colleagues
12:58 and teams to create a seamless and great user experience
13:02 from many topics like seamless Wi-Fi coverage, high connections,
13:08 the ability and speed, state of the art technology,
13:12 app and website usability, premium quality design
13:17 for digital products in our buildings,
13:19 our prize-winning architecture, and amazing brand portfolio,
13:25 amazing restaurants and cafes,
13:28 and very important outstanding customer service online
13:32 or online shop and on location in Metzingen.
13:37 Last but not least, many people are shoppers.
13:41 We need to have great prices and benefits for our customers,
13:46 and I think the innovative technology we talked about
13:50 is really helping us to give that experience,
13:56 to create a experience and new possibilities
13:59 for new technologies to create that great experience.
14:02 -Some really great insight into the here and now
14:05 and the decisions that you took a couple of years ago maybe,
14:10 that have led to being able to deliver that kind of experience.
14:14 What's next?
14:15 What's next for the industry and what's next specifically for OCM?
14:20 -Looking at OCM,
14:21 of course on the shorter we have
14:23 to get our retail business back online.
14:26 Right now, as I mentioned,
14:28 we are running on a strict limitation due to COVID-19
14:31 but in the near future,
14:32 I'm sure things will get back to normal.
14:36 A few days ago I talked to some customers at Outlet City
14:40 and they are really happy to be outside
14:44 to do shopping again for example,
14:47 and I'm sure that our customers will come back.
14:51 Another part is the non-European customer as I mentioned,
14:55 but I'm sure that also tourism will come again,
14:59 will rise up again as well.
15:01 Everybody is tired of staying at home and not being able to travel.
15:06 When this will come back, I'm sure our guests will also come back.
15:11 Let's talk about the future.
15:13 In general, traditional shopping,
15:16 traditional retail shopping is under pressure
15:17 by e-commerce because of our already existing online shop,
15:21 we will benefit directly from this trend.
15:23 Our retail business itself is also more than ready
15:26 to pick up the challenge.
15:29 In my opinion, retail shopping must be
15:32 an event for the guest and in Metzingen almost everybody,
15:36 every guest's plans is visiting.
15:39 They come with family, with friends
15:41 and they plan their stay during holidays
15:44 and they go shopping, they go eating,
15:46 they enjoy special events, and just simply have a good day,
15:50 and they are looking forward to go to Metzingen.
15:53 We do everything possible to make their visit here
15:55 as pleasant as possible.
15:56 New digital tools will support this trend.
16:01 What we will do is we will address our guests
16:03 on a more personal level to guide them through their experience.
16:07 I think location-based services
16:09 provided by the Juniper access points,
16:12 for example, in combination
16:13 with hyper-personalization tools in our app,
16:16 for example, or in our club,
16:17 will become crucial through all our channels,
16:21 our website, our app, and so on.
16:23 Pre-COVID, we were growing stronger
16:26 than the overall fashion retail market in Germany,
16:29 and I'm sure we will continue to do so.
16:32 What we want to be is the best host
16:36 for a shopping experience, both online and in retail.
16:39 I'm really certain that,
16:42 together with our brand partners in Metzingen,
16:44 and the passionate professional and hardworking team
16:47 we have in Metzingen, we will achieve this goal.
16:51 -Well, listen, I love when customers
16:55 such as yourselves take our technology
16:57 and completely transform their business
17:00 and really drive great innovation.
17:03 Simon, Sebastian, thank you very much
17:05 for your time and your insight.
17:07 It's been a real pleasure.
17:08 -Thank you Very much, James.
17:10 -Thank you, James. yes.