Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Image Recognition Software for Retail Delivers Instant KPIs

Calculating key performance indicators are a must in merchandising and product management, but getting source data for these calculations can be tricky.

First of all, analysts and managers at central offices rely on field reps to either count the number of products/faces and gather competitor numbers, or the reps perform calculations such as share of shelf by themselves. In both cases, the risk of human error is high and, over many stores, can seriously skew the final KPIs and negatively impact strategies.

New advances in artificial intelligence have given rise to much-needed image recognition software for retail, which allows quantifiable data to be extracted from pictures. With image recognition software for retail, field reps only need to take one picture of the category shelf and KPIs will be automatically extracted, as well as compiled with data from other stores in the Cloud.

Managers and analysts at central offices can then generate reports and visualizations on the collected data, including out-of-stocks, share of shelf, product availability, competitor availability, and promotions, among others, and then filter stores by any criteria deemed useful for building their strategies.

VisitBasis, creator of the namesake mobile merchandising application chosen by many market leaders in the CPG and product distribution industries, has developed its own image recognition software for retail: BrandML. Despite its advanced technology, BrandML is cost-effective and implementing it only takes a few weeks.

Interested in learning more about the BrandML image recognition software for retail? Contact us at www.visitbasis.com.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Gathering Shopper Insights with Retail Audit Software

Consumer Product Goods (CPG) businesses are constantly trying to get into the mind of customers in order to develop new successful product strategies. However, while customer surveys are the traditional way to go, they can lead to skewed results, mostly because of the customer already knowing that he or she is being surveyed.

Retail audit software, along with careful in-store activity planning, can help category and merchandising managers find shopper insights hidden within the data collected. For instance, one of the most basic uses for retail audit software is to notify management of unexpected out-of-stocks.

By analyzing the data collected over several recurring visits, it is possible to detect an increase in out-of-stocks around certain dates. Such data can then be used to back up strategic decisions, like launching a seasonal version of a product or rolling out promotional displays. Likewise, in-store activities can be designed to keep track of product and/or category presentation, competitor strategies, among others.

Not only does retail audit software allow for the custom audits to be performed more frequently, since it virtually eliminates time-wasting paperwork and data transcription, but it also delivers when it comes to access to the data collected. Cloud-based solutions for retail audits normally include a reporting interface that allows real-time access to spreadsheet, chart, and map reports.

VisitBasis retail audit software provides all the tools necessary to set up and execute in-store activities, from custom checklists and questionnaires that include photo answers to real-time access to captured data and GPS verification of visits.

Try VisitBasis today! Sign up for a free trial or schedule an online demo.

Monday, September 23, 2019

3 Ways to Boost Brick-and-Mortar Sales with Field Merchandising Software

A lot has been said about how brick-and-mortar retailers are losing ground to Internet sales. However, research - and revenue - has shown that some physical stores and brands within these stores can maintain a competitive advantage retaining repeat customers if they manage to:

Ensure product availability
One sure way to lose a customer is to not have product available at the store at the time of purchase. With field merchandising software, distribution and store operations can have a system in place to frequently perform product counts and check out for out-of-stocks in order to better time shipments.

Improve presentation
Presentation at the point of sale can make or break product sales but package design is not the only consideration since many things can happen between factory and shelf - from leaks to damaged boxes and tampering. Recurring store audits on field merchandising software can greatly improve presentation consistency and make management know of any pressing issues at the points of sale.

Engage with customer
A lot can be learned by talking with customers. However, the old paper form method is highly time-consuming and can lead to inaccuracies, especially during the data transcription process. Electronic customer surveys through field merchandising software are straightforward to implement, tweak, and report on, and can increase awareness of customer wants and needs.

VisitBasis is a comprehensive field merchandising software system for businesses of all sizes, from small marketing agencies to large CPG companies and retail chains. VisitBasis allows creating custom forms not only for retail audits but also for in-store surveys, making it easy for merchandising, category, or distribution managers to gather store and shopper insights, and provides real-time access to the captured data with both tabulated and visual reports.

Online demos of the VisitBasis field merchandising software can be scheduled at http://meetme.so/visitbasis. For more information and to sign up for a free trial, go to www.visitbasis.com.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Image Recognition for Retail Execution and Merchandising Software

Retail execution and merchandising software have revolutionized the way store audits were performed with the virtual elimination of paper forms and transcription that came with the advent of data collection apps for smartphones and tablets.

Now a second revolution is coming: The one of artificial intelligence applied to store audits. Image recognition for retail execution and merchandising software allows for information to be extracted directly from photos taken by field personnel at the stores.

This means that, instead of filling in information on the number of product and competitor faces, for instance, reps will just take a picture of the target product category. Pictures will be then sent to Cloud servers where a neural network will analyze them and provide instant information on share-of-shelf and other retail KPIs.

One can see how image recognition for retail execution and merchandising software saves not only time but also reduces human error when, for instance, counting product and category faces at the store, especially considering the accuracy of over 95% that some systems provide.

BrandML is the image recognition technology developed by VisitBasis, provider of the namesake retail execution and merchandising software chosen by many CPG, distribution, and marketing businesses. While groundbreaking, BrandML can be implemented in a short period of time and is cost-effective, making it a realistic technology upgrade for retail-focused businesses of all sizes.

Want to learn more about the BrandML image recognition technology? Go to www.visitbasis.com and contact us!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Retail Store Audit Software Optimizes Calculating KPIs

VisitBasis retail store audit software, merchandising scorecard, merchandising KPI
Calculating retail merchandising metrics such as product, category, and store KPIs is an essential part of many businesses, from large CPG companies to supermarket and drugstore chains. However, collecting the source data beyond what is supplied by cash registers can be incredibly complex, since it might involve ground teams with dozens or even hundreds of people.

Retail merchandising metrics include traditional concepts such as share of shelf, out-of-stocks, damaged units, promotions, product positioning on store or shelf, but can also include custom scorecard KPIs like display visibility, customer engagement, visual planogram compliance, among others.

By adopting retail store audit software, a business will not only optimize the data collection step of this process, as ground personnel will use their mobile devices to fill in forms, but will also completely skip data transcription and access reports as soon as devices are synced.

Some retail store audit software systems even allow for businesses to automatically connect the data source to their preferred reporting or scorecard tool through APIs, leading to a seamless transition for analysts and other merchandising data stakeholders.

VisitBasis is a comprehensive retail store audit software for businesses of all sizes. VisitBasis allows creating custom forms in order to gather all the metrics necessary to calculate standard or custom Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), providing real-time access to the captured data with tabulated and visual reports, as well as Rest/API connection.

Online demos of the VisitBasis retail store audit software can be scheduled at http://meetme.so/visitbasis. For more information and to sign up for a free trial, go to www.visitbasis.com.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Machine Learning and Image Recognition in Retail

image recognition in retail merchandising
References to machine learning seem to be everywhere these days. From new university-level courses to magazine articles and social media posts, daily we encounter new information on artificial intelligence and machine learning. But how can those new technologies be applied to improve retail operations?

One of the main ways that machine learning can help retail is when it comes to quantifying data that previously came as individual pieces of information while surveying stores, such as images.
Image recognition in retail is one of the best examples of the use of machine learning in merchandising applications. 

Machine learning allows images to be fed by programmers into a mobile merchandising system in order to train a neural network to identify product faces on outlet shelves.

Then, field staff can simply take pictures of the store shelves on their mobile merchandising apps and the system will be able to identify - with accuracy that reaches 95% - the number of faces of the target product, as well as compare it to competitor brands and automatically calculate share of shelf.

Merchandising managers and other stakeholders can, in real-time, access the results of store audits, filtering the quantified data and generating reports and visualizations according to their needs on KPIs such as out-of-stocks, share of shelf, product availability, competitor availability, and promotions, among others, and make faster mission-critical decisions.

BrandML is the image recognition technology developed by VisitBasis, creator of the namesake mobile merchandising software chosen by many market leaders in the CPG and product distribution industries.

Want to know more about machine learning and image recognition in retail? Contact www.visitbasis.com and ask about the new BrandML technology.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Share of Shelf with BrandML

image recognition for retail merchandising
Calculating share of shelf for retail goods used to be a tedious and error-prone process: It involved merchandisers counting the number of target product faces, then the number of competitor product faces, for each and every store where the product was being sold.

Machine learning has recently introduced image recognition technology in retail and is now transforming how merchandising audits are performed.

BrandML is the image recognition technology developed by VisitBasis, creator of the mobile merchandising software chosen by many market leaders in the CPG and product distribution industries.

BrandML allows merchandisers to calculate product share of shelf simply by taking a picture of the category shelving at each store.

The neural network that supports BrandML is first "trained" with pictures supplied by the client. This allows the system, with around 95% accuracy, to recognize the target products in the pictures taken by merchandisers and automatically generate share of shelf and other KPI reports and visualizations, including out-of-stocks, product availability, competitor availability, promotions, among others.

VisitBasis combined with BrandML becomes an extremely powerful tool for merchandising, sales, and channel management, as VisitBasis already provides GPS-stamped visit scheduling and planning and also allows building custom forms for in-store activities.

Interested in using image recognition to automatically calculate share of shelf for your product lines in the different outlets? Contact www.visitbasis.com and ask about our new BrandML technology.