Workshop method

Build-A-Bear reinvents the online shopping experience with a 3D workshop

Global retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop has partnered with multicloud computing company Nutanix, Buzz3D and TierPoint to develop the technology behind their Bear Builder 3D Workshop, an interactive online shopping experience that brings friends to life virtually. fur during the buying process.

As part of the iconic brand’s efforts to accelerate its digital transformation, Build-A-Bear began exploring opportunities to create an immersive and engaging online experience that builds on the familiar stages of its retail store experience. while creating something entirely new for the digital space. . With the vision established, Build-A-Bear engaged key technology partners to help bring its concept to life by leveraging existing technology such as Desktop as a Service (DaaS) in creative new ways. With this one-of-a-kind experience, Build-A-Bear Workshop can now offer consumers a revolutionary way to buy a lifelong furry friend online that offers real-world hugs to guests of all ages at buildabear.com .

With two-thirds of consumers increasing their online business as a result of the pandemic, brands around the world are looking to provide the best possible online experience for their customers. Many companies have optimized for convenience and speeding up time to purchase, but this transactional approach does not emphasize consumer engagement. As a company that has always focused on providing an experience that creates an emotional connection with its brand, Build-A-Bear is leading the charge by leveraging Buzz3D and Nutanix technologies to extend its business model to ” include that immersive digital retail experience that goes beyond the transactional process.

Mike Early, SVP and CIO at Build-A-Bear, said: “Our customers’ in-store experience is highly interactive and emotional as they can create a personalized furry friend and bring it to life, including our signing ceremony. heart. Our goal with this project is to translate this connectivity and this emotion into the digital world.

“The technological requirements to achieve this weren’t straightforward, as we needed enough processing power and speed to support this virtual experience on any device. This is where our partnership with Nutanix, Buzz3D and TierPoint comes in, delivering a highly engaging online shopping experience in a private cloud environment that maximizes performance and is tailored to our needs.

With the retail landscape already changing before the coronavirus pandemic, Build-A-Bear focused on overhauling existing technology and formed a collaboration with UK company Buzz3D, a solutions provider. UK based 3D online shopping. The rapid acceleration of e-commerce and the desire to translate the iconic Build-A-Bear experience to a digital audience resulted in the vision of an interactive shopping experience that would bring the joy and pleasure of visiting the Build Workshop. -A-Bear at the online site. space and attract a wider audience of consumers who shop online in record numbers.

After that, the challenge was to deliver this experience, which would require a lot of processing power, similar to what we see in online games, on any client device. To achieve this, Build-A-Bear and Buzz3D opted for Nutanix Frame, a desktop-as-a-service solution that can stream high-performance, graphics-intensive applications running on Nutanix private cloud infrastructure to a browser. Standard web on end user devices. . Via Frame and an app integrated into the Build-A-Bear website, consumers will be able to experience a premium digital experience on bulidabear.com, whether on a PC or mobile device, without requiring high bandwidth.

To power the Bear Builder 3D Workshop digital experience as well as Nutanix Frame, the company wanted to combine the performance, cost benefits, and customization of a private cloud environment with the model as a public cloud service. They identified TierPoint, a data center and cloud service provider, running Nutanix HCI software, to achieve this. They also plan to leverage public cloud services to gain additional capacity to meet peak traffic.

Rajiv Mirani, CTO at Nutanix, said: “Retailers around the world are looking to reinvent the online shopping experience to elevate it beyond a simple transaction that is primarily cost-driven and to deliver value and similar engagement online and in-store. COVID-19 has only accelerated this trend.

“Just as Build-A-Bear has reinvented the in-store shopping experience, I expect others to look at what the company is creating as a model for truly engaging consumers anywhere and how to leverage technology like Nutanix to enable that. “

Greg Ahlheim, Senior Vice President of Product Development at TierPoint, said: “Given the single host configuration required to deliver the desired Build-a-Bear online experience to concurrent users, a bespoke private cloud was needed. the perfect choice to anchor this initiative. We applaud Build-a-Bear’s vision for the project and the collaboration of our technology partners to make it a reality.

Marc Foreman, Co-CEO of Buzz3D, said: “We’ve always wanted to bring shopping online in 3D, but the technology needed to allow a retailer to easily adapt and mass deliver their ideal customer experience doesn’t is just catching up. After learning about Nutanix’s Frame technology and the right partner in Build-A-Bear, we’re finally able to bring the retail shopping experience online in a truly interactive and immersive way.

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Keywords: 3D, Customer experience, online, website