Outward Inc. Introduces Transformative Visual Merchandising Platform for Retailers


San Jose, California-based Outward Inc.today introduced a solution that breaks the merchandising bottleneck that has plagued retailers for decades.  The company, which has been operating in stealth mode since its founding in 2012, has developed a 3D-based platform that enables its customers to rapidly create and manage photorealistic, interactive digital experiences covering a wide range of product categories and across all of their digital channels.  The scale and versatility of the Outward platform allows retailers to build a solid digital foundation to address ever increasing consumer expectations for service and personalization.

From interactive product page experiences, collaborative space planning tools to immersive experiences involving augmented reality or virtual reality, the company is positioned to help its customers deploy a highly relevant, targeted experience at any point in the customer journey.  Outward’s technology and data-driven approach delivers large volumes of digital assets with practically infinite SKU scalability and helps enterprise customers “future-proof” their merchandising efforts.

“We have created an end-to-end visual capability that mitigates the need to rely on photography alone, and helps maximize our customers’ digital marketing to thrive in this new environment,” says Clarence Chui, Co-founder & CEO of Outward, Inc. “This is a new model the world needed. Budgets haven’t changed. Trucks haven’t changed. But expectations at the customer end of the chain have been changing for years, and manufacturers now have the ability to create nearly anything. We’ve figured out how to bridge that gap between manufacturing and merchandising, while delivering consistent retail experiences no matter where consumers engage with the brand.”

Outward is also announcing that it has raised $5 million in a Series B round led by existing investor Merus Capital, bringing the total capital raised to $12 million to date. “The outstanding team led by Clarence Chui and Gaurav Sethi is 100% ‘digitizing reality,’ taking e-commerce to a whole new level,” says  Peter Hsing, Managing Director at Merus Capital and an Outward board member, “They’re enabling transformative e-commerce experiences for their customers. It’s ‘real software solving real problems.”

Outward now boasts a growing roster of enterprise customers, including many of the best known lifestyle brands in the home industry.  And its data-centric merchandising platform is already transforming its first target market.  Its cloud-supported platform is simplifying the creation, management, and deployment of interactive digital experiences, and allowing brands to merchandise in ways that have previously been difficult or impossible.

“We’re seeing conversion rates get significant lifts for our customers,” says Outward’s Co-Founder Gaurav Sethi. “It’s still early, but we’re hearing that the difference between not using our interactive experiences and using it yields about a 30% revenue gain in some cases — that’s 30% in a world where a few percent is a huge deal.”

 

Leverage: Cycling From Sales to Smarts

 

While the use of virtually created image content alone saves merchandisers considerable operational expense, Outward’s deeper value springs from other ways in which the product assortment can be leveraged.  Through API integration and quick setup, enterprises can enable a wide range of product-related experiences on their site, tailored to the specific needs of a brand with Outward’s in house cloud platform.

Outward can craft a complete 3D virtual setting to showcase products, including interactive “walk-throughs,” which feed to a merchandiser’s site. Customers can recreate their home environments, plan future spaces, or examine how factors such as lighting and placement can impact a potential purchase’s “feel.”

Most competing approaches for interactive product experiences use 3D modeling and rendering techniques from the gaming world, which don’t yield photorealistic quality. However, a better visual experience means fewer returns, more consumer confidence in making a purchase decision, and increased likelihood of repeat business.

 

Proof in the Platform

Outward’s a data-centric merchandising platform is already transforming its first target market.  Its cloud-supported applications allow the company to provide interactive experiences all along the merchandising and sales funnel.  The company’s platform simultaneously powers a range of consumer, product-centric experiences , each tailored to align with the brand image of Outward partners.

“We’re seeing conversion rates get significant lifts for our customers,” says Outward’s Co-Founder Gaurav Sethi. “It’s still early, but we’re hearing that the difference between not using our interactive experiences and using it yields about a 30% revenue gain in some cases — that’s 30% in a world where a few percent is a huge deal.”

About Outward

Founded in 2012, Outward, Inc. is a San Jose, CA-based enterprise technology company focused on serving the home furnishing and decorative accessories industry. Outward provides visual merchandising that supports the scale and diversity of products offered by customer brands, as well as flexibility in enabling a breadth of digital “experiences” tailored to support all stages of a brand’s merchandising throughout its sales chain.  Outward currently supports a portfolio of customers that includes some of today’s highest profile lifestyle and specialty brands in the home furnishing and decorative accessory space.  For more information, visit www.outward.com and follow @outwardinc on Twitter.

|Press Release |

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