Keith Fix of Retail Aware

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Keith Fix (founder and CEO) of Retail Aware, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Retail Aware – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

I remember first stumbling into the problem. I worked with brands to deploy product displays in stores and I couldn’t get the data and analytics they wanted for their products. Then came the aha moment: “Why couldn’t measuring data around a product display be as simple as adding website analytics?”. With that idea as a starting point, I assembled a team and set out to build the solution that would ultimately become Retail Aware.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

We had a few false starts and hard lessons learned in the beginning. Without getting too far into the weeds, the technical solution had to be part hardware, part software, have an AI/machine learning component, and because this was retail, work inexpensively and ‘automagically’ at scale. Spoiler alert: We figured out all of those things and now have a solid product that brands, retailers, and agencies use to understand the full purchase funnel from digital ads to point of sale (POS) data. Tracking digital analytics and POS data is easy – the missing middle piece is in store shopper behavior, and that’s where Retail Aware can bring clarity and insights that increase ROI.

What does the future hold for Retail Aware?

Now, more than ever, companies are closely watching as consumers adjust their purchasing habits during the pandemic, and the use of in-store real-time consumer shopping data has proven to be invaluable to navigate. This is how we closed a $1.1M funding round in August. With this year’s massive ecommerce growth and plethora of legacy retailers filing Chapter 11, retail is having a reckoning. Retail Aware is the single source of clarity for your company to understand shopper behavior around your products. 

I would say that while we haven’t left stealth mode yet, we are heads down working with worldwide clients to bring insights they’ve never seen before. If this is what stealth is like, when we start pushing marketing, it’s going to be insane, and if you want to join a rocket ship, now’s the time; we’re hiring!

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Omaha?

I love the people here! I grew up in Omaha and I built my other companies here. We’re starting to see the fruits planted by early community builders in terms of exits, access to capital, and there’s more opportunity than ever for early stage companies to start, grow, and succeed here.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t wait. The number one trait I’ve noticed in my most successful peers is a willingness to immediately roll up their sleeves and dive head first into making their vision a reality. No one else can do that for you. No investor. No developer. No one. You have what you need to get started now. The difference between having an idea and building a startup is execution. The world needs the next generation of entrepreneurs to solve our most pressing problems. So dream big, aspire further, and run fast!


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