Ever since the creation of department stores, if a customer needed assistance, he or she would have to look for a sales representative. This is often difficult and frustrating as people are constantly on the move. Some companies try to solve this problem by implementing stationary machines such as kiosks. However, these machines can only answer specific questions and they still have to be located. So we wanted to find a better way to feasibly connect customers with in-store employees.
What it does
Utilizing NFC technology, customers can request help or find more information about their product with just a simple tap. By tapping their phone on the price tag, one's default browser will open up and the customer will be given two options: Product link - Directly goes to the company's website of that specific product Request help - Sends a request to the in store employees notifying them of where you tapped (eg. computers aisle 5)
The customer service representative can let you know that he or she is on the way with the representative's face displayed on the customer's phone so they know who to look for. Once helped, the customer can provide feedback on the in-store employee. Using Azure Cognitive Services, the customer's feedback comments will be translated to a score between 0-100 in which the information will be stored. All of this can be performed without an app, just tapp.
How We Built It
The basis of the underlying simplicity for the customer is the simple "tap" into our webapp. The NFC sticker stores a URL and the product details - allowing users to bypass the need to install a 3rd party app.
The webapp is powered by node.js, running on a Azure VM. The staff members have tablets that connect directly to our database service, powered by Firebase, to see real-time changes.
The analytics obtained by our app is stored in Azure's SQL server. We use Azure Cognitive Services to identify sentiment level of the customer's feedback and is stored into the SQL server for future analysis for business applications.
Challenges We Ran Into
Finding a way to record and display the data tapp provides.
Accomplishments that We're Proud of
- Learning how to use Azure
- Having the prototype fully functional after 36 hours
- Creating something that is easy to use and feasible (no download required)
What I learned
- How to integrate Azure technology into our apps
- Better understanding of NFC technology
- Setting up a full-stack server - from the frontend to the backend
- nginx reverse proxy to host our two node apps serving with HTTPS
What's next for Tapp
- We are going to improve on the design and customization options for Tapp, and pitch it to multiple businesses
- We will be bringing this idea forward to an entrepreneurship program at UBC