Clix Technology Ltd, a UK-based start-up combining mobile-first technology with customisable smart locker design for retail, is launching a new product – the Clix Smart Locker – having trialled it in B&Q Cardiff since July 2022. The trial is part of a wider Clix strategy which has used the data and learnings from the B&Q trial and customer interaction to help iterate and finesse the technology and experience.
Data from the technology’s initial introduction of the smart lockers into B&Q’s Cardiff store shows a significant improvement in customer experience, with NPS scores for the store increasing by 9.1 per cent over the first five months of the trial.
Due to the Clix web app, B&Q has seen customer feedback increase to over 50 per cent, compared with a previous 3 per cent of customers choosing to feedback through the existing B&Q NPS survey delivered to their emails.
Of the increased 50 per cent, 93 per cent of those responding about the smart lockers rated their overall experience on the app as ‘excellent’. This insight is gathered via a built-in customer feedback loop, which maximises the capturing of live data, offering a direct reflection of a customer’s experience.
With the immense growth of eCommerce, spurred in part by the pandemic, customers’ desire for online/offline integrated shopping models, including BOPIS, has accelerated. A trend that looks set to continue, global BOPIS market size is expected to expand with a double-digit CAGR of 19.3 per cent during 2021-2027. In addition, mobile ownership and usage is also growing at a rapid rate, with almost half the planet owning a smartphone and two-thirds with a mobile device
These evolving trends highlight why retailers are trialling new technology that takes a mobile-first approach to design and development.
The Clix mobile-first approach is unique as it enables customers to access their locker directly from a link embedded in an SMS, significantly cutting the steps a customer has to go through to make their collection. This system differs from traditional click-and-collect lockers as customers can access the content of their locker by opening them directly from the SMS, reducing time by eliminating the need to queue at a shared touch screen and then having to make a further trip to find their particular locker.
Offering businesses numerous features unique to the market, most notably Clix’s Progressive Web App (PWA) negates the need for the shared touch screens which are often seen on more ‘traditional’ smart locker manufacturers. Consumers simply receive a customer branded SMS, containing an embedded link, that directly opens their locker in just a couple of clicks. This allows secure access without the need for pin-codes, barcodes or time-consuming app downloads, direct from a customers mobile phone. Contributing to an improved, seamless , customer journey.
In addition to the Clix PWA eliminating in-store queueing for customers and cutting down the time to collection, it also allows the store to be unaffected by customer collection peaks. With the time saved from staff not needing to permanently man click+ collect desks retailers are now able to repurpose in-store staff towards assisting customers on the shop floor.
Clix PWA is also the first to fully integrate with the headset UK market leader VoCoVo. This allows for the Smart Lockers to be a completely autonomous installation in-store.
The connection to the headsets worn by staff working elsewhere in the store means that – should a customer require assistance – the built in ‘help me’ button connects directly to in-store staff alerting them and directing them to the exact location of the customer.
Future features on the app will also allow add-on benefits to retailers, including customer loyalty and insight activities; unique to the mobile-first offering, as other traditional smart lockers offer retailers no way of interacting with their customers.
By putting the customer first and enabling retailers to optimise and redeploy staff resources, as opposed to manning a click and collect desk, significant ROI is also expected alongside increased NPS.
In reference to B&Q’s technology strategy, Sean Heenan, Director of Retail Operations, B&Q, commented: “At B&Q, we’re constantly looking at ways we can help customers deliver their home improvement in the most fast, efficient, and convenient way possible, meeting increasing consumer demand for speed, convenience, and mobile access.. Around 85 per cent of our customers’ shopping journeys start online, a smooth and easy collections and returns in stores are an essential part of our eCommerce offer.”
Matt Cater, Co-Founder of Clix Technologies, adds: “Aligned with our mobile-first strategy, B&Q is an early adopter of smart technology, from scalable mobile apps and seamless payments to smart search, and more efficient web content management. Our dynamic, contactless, integrated storage solution is not only smart, but fully customisable, able to adapt to the market’s and the brand’s future requirements. This is both in terms of its design, which is modular and can be designed to match a store’s branding or campaign – and its tech, which is configurable and aimed at the shopper of tomorrow. For example, retailers have full control to quickly adapt to customer insights and market changes and integrate with additional software they may already be using, such as automated age verification messaging to producing QR codes to access Smart Gates.
“Trialling our technology with such a forward-thinking company is an exciting step. By leveraging B&Q’s experience in the industry, we’ve been able to refine our proposition and iterate other offerings. Taking the developed learnings, which have been invaluable in helping the business meet retail trends and emerging challenges head-on. We’re fully focussed on offering the best-in-class click + collect service to help retailers like B&Q compete with e-commerce giants, drive customer loyalty and convenience,” adds Matt.