How to Leverage In-Store Crowdsourcing for Increased Profits

What can you do with in-store crowdsourcing? What kind of data can you collect? There are many uses for in-store crowdsourcing, and we’ve got the answers you’re looking for. Every day, Wiser’s crowdsourced shoppers are visiting independent retailers to assess display types and condition, product condition, employee knowledge, stock level per SKU, and more. They’re constantly providing up-to-date intel on the store and display conditions that could impact your business.

Collecting in-store insights have never been more valuable, but old-fashioned methods are not as effective in the current digital age. Although, in-store insights have historically been very difficult to capture, mobile crowdsourcing has created an outlet for a modern and comprehensive approach to in-store insights.

Because in-store crowdsourcing is a unique service, the data collection capabilities are expansive. You can capture almost any data from core metrics like promotional compliance or store associate processes to competitive benchmarking. Each survey has a different purpose, but the goal is the same: to collect meaningful and actionable data in near real time.

But, the question remains: what can you use mobile in-store crowdsourcing for?

Display Merchandising and Compliance

The average promotion (point-of-purchase and display) compliance in-store is only at a rate of 30 percent or less. That leaves a lot of room for displays that are not compliant with your promotional strategies. Ripped signs, damaged packaging, and overall compliance are all possible issues that may be damaging to a customer’s perception of a product or brand. Mobile crowdsourcing allows you to monitor displays, end caps, and floor stands, and uncover these issues immediately.

If you’ve got a new product or promotion, shoppers can verify in-store compliance the day it was meant to hit shelves. They can check to see if the products were placed on schedule and set up correctly or if they were not. You may not be able to be in every store, but our shoppers have the ability to show you the good, bad and ugly of each location.

Competitive Benchmarking

How do your products stack up against the competition? It’s become much easier to compare your displays, product placement, number of facings, and other benchmarks with your top competitors. Furthermore, our shoppers can also monitor shelf health. Comparing your shelf health to your competitors can help you understand how placement could affect your product perception and sales.

Crowdsourced shoppers can capture stock levels, planogram compliance, facing counts, and other key on-shelf data. This is data that would be impossible to collect without being in every store at once. This is also data that is key to creating a plan that places you ahead of your competition.

Shopper Sentiment

The questions that are on everyone’s mind are now quicker and easier to get the answers to. What do customers think of a brand or product; how easy is it for them to find products; and what goes through a customer’s mind while they’re shopping? Having the answers to these questions will help in creating an optimal strategic marketing and product placement plan for your customers.

Using in-store crowdsourcing, shoppers are excited and willing to answer questions about their experience in store. Using this approach is much more effective than sending surveys to shoppers who may or may not decide to respond or remember exactly what their experience was like. Asking them questions while they’re in the store interacting with the products and staff will allow for much more accurate and actionable insights into the shopper’s mindset.

Pricing Intelligence

The pricing market can change at the drop of a dime, both regionally and nationwide. Pricing indices are one of the most powerful forms of competitive intel, intel that can now be collected through in-store crowdsourcing. Preparing a survey that can assess the cost of your products against similar products in the market can create a real-time price index that will be continually updated as more data is collected. Pairing this information with customer sentiment questions about their pricing expectations will create the optimal price index for any product.

Intelligently pricing products will help you place products exactly where you want them in the market. Knowing where the competition stands will help you determine the best prices for your products.

Store Operations

What can you do to make sure your stores are running the way you want? How can you make sure displays are set up correctly, employees are properly trained, and that day-to-day operations are running as you expect? A daily check-in on each of your stores is a long and difficult process that is nearly impossible. Luckily, gathering data doesn’t need to be that way.

Secret Shoppers can easily go to and assess all aspects of a store, the quality of the products, friendliness of the staff, and more. Having many different people assess in-store operations will provide more – and better – data in a much smaller amount of time. Involving the “human element” in your data also provides accurate and candid responses that will give you a better idea of the true state of in-store operations.

Closing Thoughts

Using this data to find in-store issues will allow you to focus your efforts on those locations rather than stores that are both performing well and compliant with your product plans. In-store crowdsourcing has many applications that can be used individually or combined in one survey to gather the most possible information at once. The advantages of using crowdsourced data are continually growing, as are the potential uses for each survey.

Crowdsourced surveys aren’t limited to the prior examples either. Almost any data-driven question can be answered by creating a survey. Expanding your data collection and improving your business practices has never been easier.

Carissa Loria

Carissa is the Community Manager at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions. She holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Rhode Island.

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