The requirements for in-store executional excellence has been radically transformed in 2020. Along with the ongoing challenges of maintaining your brands’ product availability and rightful share of your selling space in-store, manufacturers are now facing the new reality in which their field teams have become not just an ambassador for your brands but a trusted extension of the retailer’s operations teams.
Your salesforce is being asked to deliver quicker and more accurate measurement and tracking of product availability on the shelf, while the time available in store to perform these audits has been significantly reduced. In many cases that we see with our clients, consumer goods companies are losing their brands share of shelf, promotions and displays in-store, and are struggling to react and take quick and decisive action. Therefore, companies are forced to find faster, safer and more accurate ways to gather data and insight from the field to deliver the best possible brand presence in-store, to maximize sales and returns on investment.
Image Recognition solutions that have always enabled faster decision making at the shelf, have seen renewed interest in 2020, and we expect to see this well into 2021. Users can reduce the time spent in-store by up to 80% versus the traditional manual counts with greater accuracy enabling step changes in salesforce productivity. Another benefit is the reduction of contact with the physical shelf, increasing the safety of field personnel, particularly with high levels of sensitivity around social distancing and contact.
Despite these benefits, there are some key factors that see many of our clients hesitant to invest in traditional Image Recognition solutions:
The running costs of the solution does not ensure a proper Return on Investment (ROI), and in some cases, it is more expensive than the problem it’s aimed to resolve. In some countries, it is more cost effective for a person to perform physical counts rather than taking a picture.
While one of the biggest benefits of these solutions is providing shelf data for the user whist in-store, the reality is that some solutions in fact, take more than 30 minutes to provide a result. Others provide results overnight and some don’t return results to the field at all, only sending the captured data back to head office, reducing the value of the information and eliminating the ability to make an immediate impact at shelf if issues are identified in the analysis.
The average implementation time for similar solutions is up to 6 months, not including the regular maintenance for new products packaging or shelf resets. In addition to this, standalone Image Recognition products don’t offer the same value that a full Retail Execution solution can provide. For example, active insights (actions driven by the analysis of the data captured) offering features such as sales force journey mapping, guided selling, or comprehensive and fast analysis of the Perfect Store.
In many cases, Exceedra RIR is proven to deliver quality analysis results in less than one minute and up to three minutes for the most complex categories where you can take up to 50 stitched photos in a single composite image. With this functionality, your salespeople will be able to act fast and dedicate more time to selling, rather than counting products on the shelf.
RIR is not only fast, but accurate. As a self-learning tool, RIR is equipped with the latest generation algorithms to ensure accuracy results of 95%+ after a short period of genuine machine learning, with no human intervention. If you compare this with manual auditing, the average error factor in manual counts is about 25%, which means by using image recognition technology, you will get a far more precise result and therefore, better and faster insight.
RIR will allow you to cover more products, more categories, and more stores due to the efficiency in time and data quality. With more dependable data, you will be able to cover your existing stores quicker and more effectively.
These features are packaged in an easy-to-use functionality that minimizes the need for training. RIR enables end-users to be notified of suboptimal conditions, ensuring the highest quality for analysis. Not to mention, our implementation methodology typically lasts up to 8 weeks (on average, for our core functions), which makes RIR appealing for companies that are looking for an effective solution for optimizing their in-store execution experience.
Using RIR in conjunction with our best-in-class Retail Execution (SFA) solution gives you the ultimate competitive advantage; speeding up your execution while guiding your salesforce to make the right decisions that allow you to win at shelf. Our Retail Execution products are designed to get the most of each opportunity in the field, and to maximize revenue and productivity with every interaction.
Curious about how this works? Schedule a call with us to discuss how Exceedra RIR can improve automation of your in-store execution processes. We would be happy to provide a walk-through of all the richness in functionalities and features in Image Recognition that make us the leading provider of Retail Execution Solutions in the Consumer-Packaged Goods industry.
In the first article of this Retail Execution blog series, Andrew Banks provides an intro into the world of Retail Execution. Understand what it takes...