Tony Loxton, Managing Director
The prevalence of digital commerce is perpetually changing the face of the retail landscape. As a result, brick-and-mortar stores are continuously put in a situation where they have to come up with compelling ways to make shoppers get off their couch and step into the store rather than buy online. This means in-store customer experience must be exceptional. According to the statistics of Australia, shopper traffic has declined year-on-year by an average of 14 percent in recent months. “However, all hope is still not lost for physical retail stores” affirms Tony Loxton, managing director of Blix. To scale up the sales in a brick-and-mortar store, retailers must master the art of making data-driven decisions, thereby improving the operations and delivering outstanding customer experience. This is where the Melbourne-based Blix wields its expertise in the retail sector through and through.
Blix was founded with the goal of providing customer experience analytics for bricks and mortar retailers to increase sales. The information is gathered through Blix’s plug and play sensors which detect the signals of shopper’s smartphones. The data collected is anonymous, and once aggregated can provide detailed foot traffic and location analytics. The Blix Traffic platform analyses the data in real-time and provides actionable insights to the retailers. However, what gives the company an edge over its peers is the fact that Blix Traffic platform goes beyond traditional people counter systems to glean a wide-range of customer behaviour data. For instance, if a customer visits the store on Monday and returns on Friday, the sensor would track it as two visits but one unique visitor. Also, Blix Traffic precisely measures how long every smartphone spends inside a store to determine a customer’s dwell time. On top of this, Blix has recently launched it is proprietary CountSmart®
technology which delivers the highest level of smartphone tracking accuracy on the market today. CountSmart®
leverages a series of probabilistic models and artificial intelligence algorithms to generate a unique identifier for every phone, whilst completely protecting the privacy of the smartphone owner. Loxton believes the CountSmart®
technology is a significant breakthrough for shop owners as it provides greater accuracy and consistency when it comes to measuring customer experience via smartphones.
Together with that, Blix Traffic is also able to measure customer loyalty by identifying how often customers return to the store, the time gap they usually take between visits, and if a customer visits more than one store of the same retail brand. More importantly, the AI-powered solution measures the number of customers that enter a store and leave without purchasing.
Blix was founded with the goal of providing customer experience analytics for bricks and mortar retailers to increase sales
This metric alone offers enormous benefit to retailers as it very quickly identifies where staffing, training, or product issues are resulting in missed sales opportunities.
To further illustrate the prowess of Blix Traffic platform, Loxton cites an example of Wallace Bishop, a family-owned jewelry business in Australia. Having operated successfully for over 100 years without any measure of customer traffic, both management and field teams of the company were skeptical of the need for Blix Traffic. The newly appointed national sales manager, Geoff Robertson, however, believed that the business needed to make data-driven decisions for improving performance. Geoff selected Blix and implemented the solution in December 2018. Working closely with the Blix consulting team, Wallace Bishop was able to increase its value proposition by several notches. In Geoff’s words, “I was only looking for a conversion metric, but Blix has given us so much more. We have empowered our teams and given them the ability to make fact-based decisions in-store. We are also able to identify opportunities for better performance.” In under 12-months of working with Blix, Wallace Bishop increased its sales conversion rate across their portfolio by four percent.
Such outcomes prove Blix’s steadfastness to offer quick, measurable results. That being said, today, Blix has progressively moved from only being a store analytics provider to also a leading source of retail data nationwide. “With the help of Blix Sites, we are now proud to offer our clients macro data for site selection, store benchmarking, and lease negotiations,” says Loxton. Compiling data from more than 6,000 locations in Australia, Blix Sites provides retailers with comprehensive information on customer movement patterns in all leading shopping precincts and shopping strips. In the coming months, Blix will be adding customer demographic data to this reporting.
The company’s prospects for the future do not end with that. In November this year, Blix will be launching an updated benchmarking and industry analysis tool for retailers and commercial real estate customers. Coupled with the data from Blix Sites, this tool will enable retailers to search the map of Australia, zoom in on specific shopping centers or precincts, and select the Blix sensors that are present in the precinct to analyze customer traffic. The Blix R&D team is also working hard to leverage the advancements of video, facial recognition, and AI-based cameras to develop an in-store solution that fits Blix’s “plug and play” solutions model. From a geographical standpoint, Blix boasts its presence in 12 countries, serving some of the largest retailers and industry incumbents like Pandora, Country Road Group, Accent Group, Greenlit Brands, VW Group, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Hyundai, Subaru, and Porsche. With a zeal to serve more of such clients in the UK, U.S., and Canadian markets, Blix is constantly planning its next move to drive meaningful changes in the retail analytics sector.