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Eagle Eye Interim Report 2024

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Eagle Eye AIR: Meeting Enterprise Retailers' Needs in Function & Performance

Eagle Eye AIR: Meeting Enterprise Retailers' Needs in Function & Performance

Serving organizations with thousands of stores, hundreds of thousands of SKUs, millions of customers, and the ambition to deliver billions of personalized interactions is not for the faint-hearted. Luckily, it’s exactly what we’re here to do.

When it comes to delivering a world-class customer experience, every second (in fact, every fraction of a second) counts. Think back to when you last had to wait around at a checkout - that was incredibly annoying, wasn’t it? And it’s not just time that can trip retailers up, customers expect every single interaction they have with a business - whether in-store or online - to be personalized to meet their own unique needs. This presents a significant challenge, particularly for enterprise retailers managing thousands of stores, tens of thousands of SKUs, millions of customers, and billions of unique interactions every single day. Delivering a positive, unified customer experience at this scale is challenging enough, and that’s before you even start to think about layering personalization on top.

So, how do you find the technology to execute against these non-negotiable demands to ensure that every customer interaction is timely, relevant, and impactful?

Enter Eagle Eye AIR.

The Need for Speed

Lightning speed

Five years ago, AIR was already a market-leading personalization platform. It was the center of the loyalty ecosystem for some of the largest grocers and other retailers in the world. Being an API-first platform, AIR has always been able to seamlessly integrate to our customers’ finance, CRM, and data warehouse systems for example. But at this time, only integrated to the Point of Sale in a way which allowed us to trigger the basket adjudication capabilities contained within them in a simple way (e.g. a fixed points reward across a wide segment of people).

As these businesses continued to increase their ability to personalize their marketing efforts in order to unlock headroom and grow their loyal base of customers, we increased the flexibility of our platform in lockstep, bringing us closer to achieving the long-held vision of real-time, omnichannel personalization. But there was one clear problem - the point-of-sale (POS). Not built to be a modern marketing execution engine, the POS was unable to process the level of personalization our customers required. Adjudicating large baskets against hundreds or even thousands of promotional rules in real-time, with variation for each individual was out of reach for the POS.

And so, we embarked on the next stage of our mission to revolutionize personalization for enterprise retailers - launching our Cloud-Based Adjudication capability. Via API, it seamlessly connects to every POS across every channel and enables the calculation of any valid promotions, rewards, or entitlements relevant to that unique individual customer. It does this in real-time at the POS, adjusting the basket total in the milliseconds before payment is made. Watch this video which helps to bring the solution to life.

When building this capability, our initial goal was ambitious yet clear: to provide responses to POS queries in under a second, whilst performing the hundreds of calculations required to fully personalize the end customer’s experience at the checkout. Despite our retail customers dealing with thousands of transactions per second, we took the challenge head-on, driven by our commitment to excellence - one of our core company values.

We quickly achieved our goal for what now feel like very straightforward use cases (e.g. loyalty points awards based on a few qualification rules) but the real challenge arose when we started to deploy this solution for more and more enterprise retailers all over the world, all of whom wanted to be able to treat each of their customers differently with more and more complex promotional rules in play. As we started to deploy millions and then billions of personalized promotions to customers all over the world every day, each offer with its own unique rule set determined by these retailers’ data science platforms, the processing time for our Cloud-Based Adjudication service expectedly grew. We knew that maintaining the lightning-fast speeds that we’d become renowned for was critical and so we had to innovate - fast.

Scaling to New Heights

Massive scale

POS technology is the most important bit of kit in terms of a retailer’s technology stack -  it can significantly affect the customer’s shopping experience (for good or bad) and after all, it’s the bit that takes the money. We knew we had to be able to handle more transactions per second and we needed to do that a whole lot faster. Even with transactions surging through the platform, we set out to halve our response time to just 500 milliseconds, answering the POS faster than Google answers a search query.

At this stage, we should also define what we mean as ‘surging’ as it was at this time that our platform's scalability was really put to the test. Over the next year, we transitioned from serving 300 stores with 10 tills each to 4,000 stores with 30 tills each in a single retailer. We couldn’t underestimate the need for our platform to have resilience and stability whilst working at this level of demand. We didn’t just want a single retailer to hit these speeds, we wanted all of our customers to be able to do this in a multi-tenanted architecture, all at the same time.

Not only did we hit our target, we went on to halve it again and we can now adjudicate a 50-item basket with 10 complex promotions (e.g. variable product and spend-based rules, multi-step frequency driving promotions)  in under 250 milliseconds. Quite an incredible achievement that most cannot comprehend just how impressive it is. The biggest compliment to our product guys, is that end customers do not know Eagle Eye exists, just the way it should be. In fact, if you’re reading this blog, there is a pretty good chance you've experienced our Cloud-Based Adjudication technology if you've shopped at any of these well-known retailers.

Real-World Validation - blink and you’ll miss us

Blink of an eye

The true test of any software lies in its performance under real-world conditions. Our ability to personalize to individual customers at huge scale has proven itself time and again, particularly during high-stakes events such as Points Day at Loblaw, peak Christmas and Black Friday trading times and huge launches of massively popular loyalty schemes like Woolworths Everyday Rewards. Handling billions of transactions within a single week is normal business for us. Take the last 7 days for instance, we have adjudicated over 150 million shopping baskets around the world, executing over a billion personalized promotions and resulting in over 50 billion loyalty points being earned and 30 billion points being spent by our customers’ customers.

Balancing Platform Performance and Continual Innovation

Balancing performance targets, contractual obligations, and feature enhancements is no easy feat. But it is doing just that distinguishes us from the competition. Yes - we scale. Yes - we remain committed to delivering unmatched performance and reliability. Yes - we continually innovate. How? Our passionate team. Let’s say they like a challenge - pushing the innovation barriers to launch new features every 2 weeks without impacting response times and overall platform performance.

Looking Ahead

As we continue to push the boundaries of what's possible when it comes to delivering personalized customer experiences at unrivaled scale, our platform remains at the forefront. With advances in cloud computing and AI to inform one-to-one messaging, we are poised to elevate personalization to new heights, empowering retailers to forge deeper connections with their customers.

But remember, data science and AI capabilities are only as good as the technology required to manage and execute both the diversity of personalized offers types/engagements and issuance/redemption of them at the same scale. It’s that equal processing power that we bring to the table here at Eagle Eye.

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