XChannel is a cross-channel contextual marketing platform for retailers and brands. It brings together the relevance of Proximity with the reach of Social Marketing. There are two key components to xChannel.
- A secure campaign dashboard from where you can setup your in-store marketing campaigns
- An optional client side API which you can plug into your own application to surface those campaigns within your app at the right time
XChannel is built on two basic premises –
- Physical Proximity to a product or a brand is a strong indicator of relevance
- If a product or a brand is of interest to you, as evidenced by your physical proximity to it, then it is probably of interest to people in your Social Network
So XChannel helps you supercharge relevance of your in-store offers.
Yes. In this case you will still setup a campaign through our Campaign Dashboard. These campaigns will be surfaced on the user’s mobile browser when they are near a corresponding Beacon. Today this approach works only on Eddystone beacons.
We support 3 types of campaigns today.
- Proximity Only Campaigns
- Social Campaigns (Location Based)
- A combination of Proximity and Social campaigns (Please See Our iOS DEMO)
The type of campaign is specified at the time of setting it up.
Today we support iOS, Android and Mobile Web. In future we may add support for other mobile platforms.
We are entirely Beacon vendor-agnostic. So we support all beacons that are either iBeacon or Eddystone compliant.
Beacons are Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices that constantly transmit small packets of data. Every Beacon is identified by a unique ID (UUID) whose semantics is defined by its owner. Beacon messages are unidirectional – from the transmitter to the receiver. Any BLE compatible receiver can receive this data and take appropriate action based on its content. Most iOS and Android devices in the market today are capable of operating as Beacon transmitters and receivers.
iBeacon™ is a communication protocol developed by Apple for BLE devices. Eddystone™ is a similar protocol developed by Google. These are some of the key differences between the two.
- iBeacon™ profiles are proprietary to Apple while Eddystone™ is an open protocol
- iBeacon profile defines only one packet format which contains a UUID. Eddystone on the other hand supports 4 different frame types – UUID, URL, Telemetry and Ephemeral ID
Here are the links to detailed iBeacon specs and Eddystone specs.
When broadcasting packets containing UUID, Eddystone behaves similar to iBeacon.
Packets containing URL’s are similar to a QR code. When a user is near an Eddystone beacon broadcasting a URL, they will receive a notification with the URL which can then be opened inside of Chrome browser.
Many hardware vendors have released devices which are iBeacon and/or Eddystone compliant.
Most devices running iOS version 7.0 or higher are capable of receiving iBeacon messages. Android devices running JellyBeans and newer are also capable of processing iBeacon messages. Similarly devices running Android version starting with Marshmallow are capable of processing Eddystone messages.
Our campaign dashboard provides a single interface for –
- Setting up of Beacon data
- Setting up of campaigns
- Associating campaigns with various Beacons/Stores
- Activating or suspending campaigns
- Viewing real-time performance of various campaigns across stores and social networks
Integrating with xChannel inside your application is very straightforward and involves the following steps.
- Contact Us and obtain an API Key and Secret along with your xChannel Dashboard credentials
- Download our iOS/Android SDK from S3 and import it into your XCode/Android Studio project. Our iOS SDK is installed using CocoaPod while Android SDK is installed using Gradle
- Modify XChannelGlobals.h and add the new API key and secret
- Integrate our API as shown in our sample code
- Login to our dashboard using your new credentials and setup your Beacon and Campaign
That’s it! Now when you approach the Beacon location, you will receive a notification with the details of the deal you configured via the dashboard.
Broadly, we provide 4 types of analytics data.
- Engagement Metrics: How are customers engaging with your in-store offer? What is the notification open rate, offer acceptance rate, offer redemption rate etc?
- Campaign Performance Metrics: How is the campaign performing across stores? Which campaigns are most effective and where?
- Social Metrics: For social campaigns, who are your biggest influencers? Which social platforms perform best for a certain campaign?
- Referral Metrics: For social campaigns, how many people interacted with a shared content on various social networks? How many clicked through to your website?
Today our native implementation pushes these metrics to Google Firebase. But it may be easily extended to integrate with an analytics platform of your choice (Google, Mixpanel, Omniture etc).
There are multiple levels of customization possible with xChannel.
- The xChannel dashboard may be easily customized for branding purposes (color, font, logo, images etc)
- The campaign data today is setup exclusively through our web dashboard. But it may be easily extended to a feed format and integrated with your campaign management system
- We are today integrated with Flurry for analytics. But because of appropriate encapsulation, we can easily extend it to other analytics platform like Google, MixPanel, etc.
- Today we support social campaigns on 3 different social channels – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It can be extended to other social channels like Snapchat and Instagram with minimal effort
- We currently support our client side API on iOS and Android. Other device platforms will be added on an as needed basis. Also our iOS API today is in Objective-C with a Swift client planned for 2017