NOBAL’s iMirror reflects new tech for retail, hospitality
By Sohail Kamal, West Coast CorrespondentAutomation / Robotics Electronics IoT Editor Pick hospitality iMorror IoT Nobal retail Technology
NOBAL Technologies is revolutionizing the way consumers connect with their favourite brands in-store. With a mandate to improve the shopping experience that gives consumers what they want in the quickest and most convenient way possible, their retail iMirror offers a solution to traditional purchase barriers by enabling shoppers to search, select, and buy from a complete range of inventory.
These barriers are especially prevalent in our current COVID reality, where we still see limited in-store retail sales due to the pandemic. More businesses are looking for ways to get shoppers back in-store and allow them to feel safe. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Amanda Roberts, NOBAL’s Chief Operating Officer, to find out how COVID has boosted interest in their products and who will benefit from iMirror.
New digital experience
“NOBAL was created with the idea of leveraging the latest in smart devices and machine learning…to create an interactive mirror technology that could provide a completely new digital experience for shoppers,” explains Roberts.
With a few screen taps, you can create a fully dimensional avatar of yourself: “You can rotate 360 degrees in front of a mirror, see how clothing looks on you and try on different sizes. This allows brick and mortar retailers to have fewer clothes, checkouts, fitting rooms, employees, and square footage,” says Roberts. It also means less time spent in fitting rooms and a refined COVID-friendly retail experience for those who are at a heightened pandemic risk, thereby providing more opportunity for sales for retailers.
NOBAL has also created an experience for hotel guest: “The iMirror allows an arriving guest to check in or out in the lobby, browse onsite restaurants, make reservations, and even take a selfie and upload it to social media. Once in their room, another iMirror allows them to order room service, book a spa appointment, buy event tickets, request a ride and pay for all the above,” explains Roberts.
With the impact of COVID, NOBAL is experiencing exponential growth in the public’s interest in iMirror. “Both retailers and hotel operators are looking to bring customers and guests back to their stores and properties, and the iMirror is the perfect solution. It creates an engaging, interactive experience unlike any other product in the market today,” explains Roberts.
COVID exacerbated the pain points that NOBAL was already working to resolve. The public’s aversion to physical shops propels popular adoption of iMirror. “All businesses are feeling the economic crunch of low staffing levels, so having a product that provides a standard and enjoyable experience …ensures that potential engagement and revenue aren’t lost,” says Roberts.
NOBAL’s innovations have great potential, but their recent growth spurt hasn’t been without challenges. “2021 has been a huge year for growth. In the past 6 months, we have hired 7 staff in sales, marketing and client services alone. Our growth translates to an urgent need for establishing processes for how we manage our pipelines, projects, and products,” says Roberts. But a team is one of the most valuable assets to any company. Roberts shared a thought process that may help others who are building a new product, technology, or a new team: “Those that I lead come before me, they are under my care, they have a voice in our organization, and we want to hear it. I surround myself with people that are more skilled than me, help them reach…maybe have them stretch a bit, to be the best they can.”
Roberts ends with, “The ease with which customers interact with technology these days is much different than even five years ago. Products like the iMirror are helping traditional industries like retail and hospitality catch up to innovative buyers and make them more likely to want to do business with them.” To learn more, go to www.NOBAL.ca.
Sohail Kamal is EP&T’s West Coast correspondent.