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    January 6, 2022

    Gaining Situational Awareness at Every Point of Sale with Broadcom’s DX APM App Experience Analytics

    The National Retail Federation forecasted historic holidays sales this 2021 season, as retailers grappled with high volumes of in-store and digital traffic, along with a need for full visibility into the user experience. They turned to monitoring their Point-of-Sale (POS) systems for key analytics that revealed unique, real-time details about what customers were experiencing.

    Retailers and other industries have uncovered previously unavailable insights using an application performance management solution like Broadcom’s DX APM, enabling them to meet customers’ expectations for a smooth omnichannel experience.

    Deeper Insights for Real-time Decisions

    Many retailers (and other industries) are moving to web/app-based POS systems, using mobile-based kiosks and having store associates carry app-based devices. With the holiday and peak seasons accounting for a substantial amount of their overall revenue, the closer retailers can monitor what’s happening at the POS, the better they are able to fine-tune user experience, safeguard customer experience, and impact revenue.

    Traditionally, application performance monitoring solutions track application performance on the backend, performing tasks such as examining app health, troubleshooting and fixing issues, and delivering usage data. Application performance monitoring offers clarity into web and mobile app performance.

    While this data is essential, it’s not enough to deliver the kind of real-time insights businesses need to refine customer experience as it happens. Broadcom developed AIOps features in DX APM to offer a deeper look into how things are going at the POS and on the store floor.

    Embedded in Broadcom’s DX APM, App Experience Analytics (AXA) goes beyond standard performance and usage data to give business leaders critical insights they cannot glean elsewhere. This has been key to gaining situational awareness that drives real-time impact on customer experience.

    Some of the questions that AXA can answer are standard performance questions, such as:

    • How is the app performing geographically?
    • What are the transaction volumes?
    • Is the app erroring or crashing?
    • What’s the average sale in one location versus another?

    All of this information can help inform decision-makers with virtually changing stock; for example, AXA insights can suggest special ordering based on sales volumes and predicted purchasing. But there are also deeper questions that can be answered.

    With a single dashboard provided by an AIOPs solution like DX Operational Intelligence — which is fully integrated and runs on the same platform with DX APM — businesses can get granular insights about what’s happening in every store and every POS system.

    Situational Awareness for What’s Happening in Stores

    The highest cost of sale is when someone walks into a store. Brick-and-mortar comes with high overhead and high turnover costs. This means that, ideally, in-store customers should spend more per sale than online customers, in order to counter the higher overhead cost. By monitoring POS systems in their brick-and-mortar stores, businesses can gain real-time data on what’s happening and make decisions accordingly.

    Consider a mobile phone retailer with online and brick-and-mortar stores. Data they may glean from AXA may answer questions such as:

    • How many new phone sales vs. upgrades to new plans?
    • How many phone number transfers are being made (and thus pulling those customers away from competitors)?
    • What are the volumes by hour and geography?
    • For store locations, how many additional add-on items were sold to uplift the order’s total value?
    • How does it compare region to region or store to store?
    • How long does it take a sales associate to process the order?
    • Is the “system really running slow today” or is it something else?

    Transparency on Customer Complaints and Employee Behavior

    Businesses need situational awareness for what’s happening for every channel across the organization. Below are a few examples:

    1. Analyzing order processing times. For example, if sales associates in a New York location process 20 orders per hour and the average order time is three minutes, and a location in Texas processes 10 orders per hour and the average time is six minutes, management can infer that there is idle time in the Texas location.

      What are sales associates doing between orders? What actions are they taking that are causing their processing time to be double that of the New York location? AXA takes screenshots of everything sales associates enter into POS systems so that management can get a complete picture and evaluate the causes of user behavior leading to performance problems.

    2. Evaluating gaps between transactions. By monitoring the time between transactions, management can determine if there is a queue in a store. If there’s less than a minute between transactions, they can infer that there is a queue and can also infer that these customers are likely not having the most engaging interactions with a cashier who does not have time for conversations.

      Conversely, if there are gaps between transaction times, they can infer that foot traffic is slow and that cashiers have idle time between transactions. They may have more time to engage with customers in conversation, but this information might also determine how much stock to ship to the store next season.

    3. Investigating customer complaints. Another popular use case for AXA is to investigate customer complaints. AXA offers executives a fairly granular level of oversight into employee behavior. For example, if a customer calls customer support and is told the “computer is running slow today,” is the computer actually running slow? Or is the customer support agent making mistakes or being too slow at navigating the system?

      AXA monitors everything the agent enters into the system. With screenshots and recordings, managers can see if it’s the agent or the technology. Was it the broadband speed, or did the agent mistype the customer’s phone number three times and that’s what caused the delay? This granular detail gives businesses defensible insights into employee behavior without conspicuous monitoring.

    4. Navigating Black Friday Season. It used to be that Black Friday was one day, then later followed by Cyber Monday. With the holiday shopping season starting as early as July with Amazon Prime Day, most retailers now experience a “Black Friday Season.” As they navigate pre- and post-Black Friday events, retailers need to make decisions about staffing, inventory, and determine whether they are getting more sales volume pre- or post-Black Friday. By monitoring their application performance, they can get reliable answers to make these decisions.

    Creative Use Cases with Logistics, Customer Journey Flows

    Other examples of how companies are using the AXA capabilities in DX APM include a global shipping carrier that uses two main applications: one for logistics and one hand-held device for drivers. These are built on mobile apps.

    By monitoring the signal strength and whether the app crashes, the shipping carrier can get a good idea of the health of the system and whether good data is coming out of the logistics system. If the devices are failing, for example, then their package/delivery counts will be wrong. AXA in DX APM gives companies confidence about how trustworthy their data is at every given moment.

    Many businesses want to understand customer usage patterns. For example, if a cable provider released a new UI to a cable box, how are people using it? What are the common flows people are navigating? Are they going from menu to DVR, for example? Obtained through AXA, this information aides product development and also customer support.


    Overall, AXA in DX APM offers businesses information they can use to infer actionable insights throughout the year. Without AXA, these insights cannot be obtained at scale or at a granular level without being in-person, on the spot, all the time. With flexible querying and dashboarding options like those available in DX APM, businesses in every industry can be confident that they have situational awareness at every POS, every time.

    Visit Broadcom’s Enterprise Software Academy to read more about DX APM.

    Tag(s): AIOps , DX APM

    Corey Cohen

    Corey Cohen is the current APM Business and Strategy lead at Broadcom. Corey has been involved in IT for over 30 years and over 20 years in the application monitoring space.  If he looks familiar, he is a frequent guest on TV, radio, and other media as an expert historian on vintage computing technology.

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