With Zoom, Brauz is able to simply integrate with products, customer history, product recommendations, and data points that can provide the best customer experience. That’s something you can’t get from just looking at a website.
Lee HardhamFounder & CEO, Brauz
When Brauz CEO Lee Hardham started his ground-breaking business, his vision was simple – a personalised retail platform that allows physical retailers to connect with their target customers in a digital environment.
Lee was working in print media at a time it was being heavily disrupted by the rise of digital news – and advertising.
“Print retailers who advertised physical store locations were instead starting to advertise their web addresses,” Lee says. “It got me thinking, what will happen to the traditional brick and mortar store, with more and more people preferring to visit websites out of convenience?
“With the growing shift toward online retail, and so many retailers having a physical footprint, the question became, ‘How does the physical store remain relevant in the future of retail?’”
And so Brauz led the way in creating the “store of the future.”
We believe that there shouldn’t be a divide between in-store and online shopping. Instead, customers deserve the best possible experience wherever they are.
Lee HardhamFounder & CEO, Brauz
Creating the connected store of the future
One of the first solutions Melbourne, Australia-based Brauz brought to market enabled customers to reserve products and book an appointment to try on or view that product in-store. Retailers saw a huge uplift in both foot traffic and revenue via this solution.
Prior to COVID-19 lockdowns, Shane Lenton, CIO of Australian fashion brand Cue Clothing, had started working on a video commerce solution and connected with Lee to see how they could work together utilising the sophisticated Brauz booking engine.
Shane knew from his experience working across various retail verticals including fashion, furniture, and homewares that there was a huge potential for online appointments that would elevate the shopping experience. He envisaged a “white-glove experience that was friction-free from appointment through to purchase.”
“A business that prides itself on fashion-forward designs and innovation, we are always looking to elevate the customer experience,” Shane says.
When the pandemic hit, Shane wanted to accelerate the delivery of the video commerce solution and met with Lee from Brauz to discuss appointment-based shopping.
“I rang Lee and suggested the idea of a collaboration to bring video commerce to market,” he says.
Zoom changed everything for Brauz and Cue
Brauz expanded its platform to allow people to shop at stores, from the comfort of their homes, via Zoom, at a time convenient to them, alleviating geographical challenges.
The company built its Live Connect video commerce capability enabling video-based appointments or the ability to connect live by video to staff in-store.
With Live Connect, customers can click a button on the store’s website that alerts a stylist. The stylist uses their wearable tech to start serving the customer, just as though they were standing in the store together.
The customer is even able to safely pay for items in their cart, inside the Zoom session, all without leaving the shopping experience. As a part of Zoom’s ISV Partner Program, Brauz leveraged the Zoom Developer Platform to build this functionality and embed the Zoom Meeting services into their platform to offer a reliable video experience to their customers.
“Our team was able to work with Zoom, find the API easily, and embed it into our experience,” Lee says.
“With Zoom, Brauz is able to simply integrate with products, customer history, product recommendations, and data points that can provide the best customer experience,” Lee says. “That’s something you can’t get from just looking at a website.”
“As an online shopper, you could be browsing the website, see a product that you like, and connect with a staff member to have an immersive experience that wouldn’t traditionally be available online, alleviating concerns around style, fit, and colour, ” Shane explains.
You hit that Live Connect button and it takes you straight to a retail assistant. They’re able to jump into a live video session with you, and talk through the item, bridging the online and in-store worlds.
Shane LentonCIO, Cue Clothing
Lee said retailers using video commerce are seeing phenomenal results, with average conversion rates over 60% and average transaction values five times greater than that of any other channel.
It has also reinforced Zoom’s abilities as a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) platform that companies can integrate into their own applications to create immersive, video-first experiences.
Opening new doors and creating new experiences for businesses
The Cue/Brauz collaboration shows that, with Zoom building new innovative digital platforms that businesses can easily build on or embed, there is a tremendous opportunity to deliver exciting new digital experiences.
“We’re excited by Zoom’s innovation and continual development of the Zoom platform. We are looking forward to using voice-to-text and live language translation capabilities to break down the language barrier for global retail, for example. We are also excited by the applications that could be possible for addressing accessibility challenges,” Shane says.