182 – Healey Cypher of Oak – Tomorrow’s Store Today

Cutting edge in-store technology with Oak…

Healey Cypher, Co-Founder and CEO of Oak (enables store of tomorrow today, with a modern operating system allows rapid development of cutting edge in-store technology (bio)), joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and Marc Raco on location in Las Vegas for Shoptalk 2017. This episode is powered by Olapic.

From Ebay to Oak, the brand ethos and meaning of the name, and building a new kind of operating system

Cypher discusses his work as former Chief of Staff of Global Product Management for Ebay Inc, and former head of retail innovation team for Ebay, and how several of his group regrouped to start Oak Labs (now “Oak”), so that stores come alive around the customer. The company ethos and name changed over time, part above the surface, some beneath the surface, with a light of power, and the real story behind the name. The disconnect between what technology is and what it does for you. Best use case of Oak, taking the ecommerce conversion funnel and applying it to physical stores, highest point of conversion with least amount of data, started in fitting room with Ralph Lauren with the smart Oak Mirror, re-humanizing vs. de-humanizing, now by tapping phone on mirror being able to single tap to purchase both in-store and other inventory online, resulting in increased sales and shorter wait time. Building both hardware and software. Built first operating systems for modern interactive experiences, which is now the core platform. How platforms drive product, making sure the magic doesn’t fail even if the Internet goes out.

Impact on service, merging online and offline, and taking action on data

Downstream impact on customer service, people spend 40% less time in fitting room. The original pair of pants rule, the value of having active technology ad the means of data, able to discern service levels in store, actual waiting time vs. perceived waiting time. Better service equates to better sales. Gamifying service in stores, reducing wait time by three-quarters. Implicit technology is what customers don’t see, but things feel great. The balance of investing in both types of experiences. Data-motivated recommendations based on demographics, time of day, inventory, etc. An AI layer monitors POS velocity and velocity of requests, instructing associates to replace inventory strategically. Merging online and offline personalities of shoppers, taking action on data, what tools make sure clients get the most out of the Oak experience, use vs. conversion, dollars per minute per square foot, attaching to micro-moments, how retail stores have to compete on experience, urgency and service.

Robots, psychology, and from Saudi to Nebraska

How the landscape is all about experience, as cost of labor goes up increasing “buyification” with robots, repetitive low skill tasks will be replaced more and more by robotics, employees should be a part of adding to the experience, 83% of customers believe they know more than associates, and the hurdles of selling the future now to a generally traditional industry. Cypher relays how some of Oak’s retailers are making 7X ROI. Psychological considerations of designing the mirror and fitting room technology. “Off the Grid Questions” cover going from Saudi to Nebraska, having a binary effect on people, the impact of helping someone out, prayer, dates, memories of Saudi life, and not giving up.


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