How crowdsourced merchandising improves in-store efficiency
Concepts such as ‘on-demand’ and ‘immediacy’ rule the retail environment, and businesses with traditional operations might be ill-equipped to keep up with consumers who want immediate availability and promotions.
Efficiency in a world of immediacy
Sales is the highest priority for any brand. This means winning consumers directly on the shop floor by ensuring constant product availability and better visibility of promotions and second placements. Although merchandising is a key component of the purchasing process, much of the investment made in-store often goes to waste, mostly due to poor synchronicity between producers and retailers.
To keep control over what is really happening in-store, merchandisers traditionally visit retailers to check in-store execution on behalf of producers, to consult with supermarket managers, and to place new POS materials. These visits mostly happen during office hours, and field agents aren’t really able to report on the in-store situation as perceived by regular consumers. In addition, traditional merchandising has proven to be rather inefficient due to complex planning and travelling time involved for agents, who usually move across wide areas. This also means that the data derived from these visits are delivered at the end of a long process, making it impossible for producers to take immediate, geo-located actions, thus making loss inevitable.
This is where crowdsourced merchandising comes into play. Where concepts such as ‘on-demand’ and ‘immediacy’ rule the environment, why not use an ‘on-demand’ and ‘immediate’ Crowd to take care of such activities too?
The benefits of crowdsourced merchandising
Crowdsourced merchandising involves making use of a Crowd of skilled and trained individuals available on-demand to perform merchandising activities wherever and — most importantly — whenever it’s needed. An essential part of crowdsourced merchandising is that the traditional merchandiser job is split up into easier and smaller tasks to perform. The Crowd is able to retrieve these small tasks on their smartphones according to their GPS, which means that anywhere they move, tasks nearby their current location appear. These modifications bring along some interesting, innovative benefits.
For starters, stores are visited sooner, more often and in different time slots (peak times, weekends, holidays, etc.), which allows problems concerning in-store execution to be discovered and solved quicker. Brands receive real-time data from each store, thus regaining full control of what is really happening in terms of product availability as well as visibility of POS materials. Brands remain in charge of their own product in the market, and that is ultimately what every business wants.
Because the tasks are smaller and the Crowd is available everywhere throughout the country, the tasks are easily accessible and quicker to perform. It even requires less expertise since Crowd members have to become experts only in small elements of the job. This makes merchandising scalable and higher volumes less of an issue. The end result is cost reduction, as transportation costs are eliminated, planning becomes unnecessary (as the Crowd takes care of it themselves), and no hours are lost on the road. It also means that retailers get visited sooner and more often, a win-win situation for both the brand and the retailer.
Crowdsourced merchandising is an efficient way of keeping up with today’s face-paced, on-demand society.
Want to learn more about crowdsourced merchandising? Roamler is happy to help. Contact us for more information.