In-store promotions, Big Data to the rescue

For big retail brands to compete on a global scale, they need to be able to execute campaigns on a superior level. According to a recent Forbes article, crowdsourcing information and leveraging Big Data can be the key for retailers to break into the upper echelon of effective retail localization.


From the article:

“When brands pay for in-store merchandising, such as an end-cap display, 49 percent of the time it’s actually missing – it’s not in the store,” said Justin Behar, CEO of Quri, a retail intelligence company based in San Francisco. The company, which has been working with its customers to collect data during the past year, also found that promotional pricing is incorrect 22 percent of the time.

Quri is one of several new companies leveraging mobile workforces and the power of big data to help uncover inefficiencies in stores so that brands and retail partners can remedy issues quickly.

Armed with smartphones, remote workers in locations across the world complete small tasks at big box stores such as Walmart or Target TGT -0.84% (for about $5 to $7 per task). These tasks include verifying that promotional displays are set up as per guidelines or checking a salesperson’s knowledge of pricing information. The driver of this new mobile workforce, according to Behar, was the introduction of the iPhone. The Apple AAPL -1.1% device equipped workers with rich camera capabilities and barcode scanners on a large, distributed scale.

“We do the dark data side of big data – it’s data that brands haven’t been able to get before in a structured way,” said Behar. “We use this crowd force at scale to go into thousands of stores daily and effectively measure the in-store conditions.”

Once this data is collected, analytics are applied, he added.

“In 24 hours on a real-time basis, all of that data is being surfaced and organized, and a layer of analytics is put on top so that our brand customers can log into our Web-based analytics tool and see the results,” said Behar. “They can drill down and see that Store 131 in Wichita, Kan., doesn’t have the promotion. The early visibility allows them to take action.”