I recently caught up with Tom Vieira, Director of Product Management on the in-store side here at Wiser. Tom is a tech-centric product leader with deep experience in usability, product design, and agile development practices.
I spoke with Tom about Wiser’s in-store capabilities and what they mean for the greater retail market. Here’s what he had to say:
Angelica: Hi, Tom. It’s great to sit down with you and offer our readers more insight on Wiser’s in-store retail software. Can you start off by telling me about some of the typical use cases for Wiser’s in-store offerings?
Tom: Absolutely. There has been such an emphasis on online retail and it is certainly driving a large amount of retail growth, but the fact of that matter is that only 8.2 percent of retail purchases were made online in Q2 of this year. With that said, it’s clear that in-store retailers still dominate the space. Therefore, data regarding customer insights, shelf data, and store operations is more necessary than ever. Retailers and brands need to get over the hurdle of in-store inefficiencies and take advantage of competitive opportunities.
- Core metrics and compliance: brands want to know if stores are complying with their promotional guidelines. Retailers want to know if their store associates are following protocol and meeting shopper needs.
- Data: how can brands and retailers gain access to robust in-store data that will improve their placement and performance?
- Communication: when brands and retailers find discrepancies at the store level, how can they effectively pass on the metrics they found and gain the information that will fix those issues?
Angelica: How does Wiser tackle these common questions that come up for retailers and brands?
Tom: We take it beyond the average secret shopper experience. We send shoppers (or “Bees”) into stores on “Missions,” using the Mobee app (available on iPhone and Android) to capture the data that matters most for the individual brand or retailer. Because of our nationwide footprint and deep industry expertise, we can collect data faster, cheaper, more accurately, and—most importantly—with greater actionability. These insights into operational pain points and blind spots are available in near real-time, to help our customers resolve issues quickly and effectively.
Angelica: Getting a spreadsheet of raw data can be overwhelming. How does Wiser make in-store retail data actionable?
Tom: Getting HQ and Field teams on the same page is one of our main goals here at Wiser. To accomplish this, we have a workflow alerting program that predefines thresholds and recommends fixes for those working in-store with the ability to make the changes. Those employees on the ground get the information they need directly to improve in-store operations. This information includes images our Bees take of the compliance issues they see, alerts that describe the problem, and suggested changes they can make.
Angelica: Can you tell me more about the end to end process of building an in-store Mission all the way through implementing suggested changes?
Tom: Missions are built to solve business problems, not just collect data. All businesses already have too much data that they’re struggling to deal with, so we ask pointed questions to get to the bottom of what brands and retailers want to learn with their Missions. Do they want to discover their share of shelf or help their in-store displays perform better? We get Bees in the aisles to determine the state of affairs.
Angelica: What makes Wiser’s in-store capabilities stand out?
Tom: We offer a modern crowdsourcing service that is able to scale up to tens of thousands of Missions and millions of trended data points a month. We offer a great experience, both for our Bees using our app to collect in-store data and for our clients, logging into our analytics platform to understand exactly what’s going on in-store and resolve issues as they’re reported.