Friday, June 5, 2020

3 Things You Need to Know About Image Recognition for Retail

Artificial intelligence has been getting a lot of attention these days but, for many industries, it is not yet clear what its practical applications are or what the benefits will be.

Image recognition for retail is one of the more straightforward commercial applications of artificial intelligence. However, it seems to be out of reach for most businesses since, while CPG conglomerates and large retailer chains dominate the market, many retail-focused businesses are smaller local distributors, independent shops or manufacturers, and other partners such as sales and marketing agencies.

This is what these smaller businesses need to know about image recognition for retail:

It is within their reach
Retail audits through mobile merchandising software are already a reality for smaller retail-focused businesses. Some state-of-the-art merchandising software solutions are already offering image recognition technology.

It is cost-effective
One might think that such a high-end technology would be prohibitive in terms of cost for smaller businesses. However, image recognition for retail - as part of a mobile merchandising solution - is very cost-effective since adopting it might lead to time and personnel savings in addition to increased sales as a result of improved monitoring and reporting.

It is easy to implement
Cloud-based technology means there is no need for small businesses to have high-tech installations or personnel when it comes to mobile merchandising software. In order to implement image recognition for retail, businesses only need to provide some pictures to their software provider so its neural network can be trained in recognizing products and brands. This process normally takes a few weeks.

BrandML means image recognition for retail from VisitBasis, the developers of the mobile merchandising software chosen by many CPG companies, store chains, agencies, and other retail-focused businesses. Learn more about BrandML and VisitBasis at www.visitbasis.com.



Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Merchandising: Weekly Reports Can Be a Reality

Old-style merchandising analysis - where data capture was performed with pen and paper - presented several challenges for management, including the fact that reports were few and far between and, because of that, most of the time contained outdated information. Running merchandising weekly reports seemed therefore impossible.

Mobile merchandising apps made it possible for management to have up-to-the-minute access to data captured at stores.

VisitBasis is a mobile merchandising app that allows reps to answer questionnaires and fill in checklists on their own smartphones and tablets. As soon as a store visit is finished, the captured data is synchronized with the Cloud and office-based category and channel managers can immediately run their own reports.

You can, therefore, see how VisitBasis will be used to run weekly or even daily merchandising reports, helping to increase supervision as well as promotion and planogram compliance at the store level.

Besides spreadsheet-type reporting, VisitBasis additionally provides a task-based graphic report interface called VisitBasis Analytics that quantifies form answers to display plotted chart results. This makes it possible for management to know at any point in time the percentage of out-of-stocks for a certain SKU at one or more stores, streamlining decision-making to speed up replenish and prevent loss in sales.

VisitBasis Analytics can help category and retail channel managers produce the following merchandising weekly reports:
  • Out-of-Stocks
  • Share of shelf
  • Product positioning on shelf and/or store
  • Product pricing
  • Promotional pricing
  • Competitor pricing
  • New competitor products
Would you like to see how a merchandising weekly report for your business needs would look like? Sign up for VisitBasis free trial at www.visitbasis.com.



Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Retail Planogram Compliance Checks via BrandML

Retail planogram compliance is essential in ensuring brand consistency across multiple retail channels. However, achieving full compliance is always an issue due not only to outlet and local limitations, but also because of the difficulty in checking multiple locations in spread-out geographies.

VisitBasis is the go-to merchandising software solution for CPG manufacturers and distributors when it comes to planning and scheduling retail planogram compliance checks. It allows field reps to use their own mobile devices to fill in audit forms and checklists. 

Now VisitBasis has developed BrandML, its own image recognition technology. Retail planogram compliance checks via BrandML extract data from pictures through an artificial intelligence neural network and automatically generate KPI reports.

It might seem that BrandML technology is out-of-reach for most smaller and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors, but it actually is cost-effective and also easy to implement. Management just needs to supply sample shelf pictures to the VisitBasis team so they can "train" the neural network to recognize the company's products.

After it has been configured, performing retail planogram compliance checks via BrandML becomes incredibly easy: Reps just need to take a picture of supermarket shelves and the system will deliver metrics such as share of shelf, out-of-stocks, competitor information, and more.

Since the data is now in the Cloud, brand and merchandising managers at centralized offices can also generate their own reports containing their specific parameters and metrics, and supply their businesses the up-to-date information necessary for calculated strategic decision-making.

Is your business ready for retail planogram compliance checks via BrandML? Contact us today at www.visitbasis.com for more information.



Thursday, January 30, 2020

GPS Tracking App for Field Sales Reps Helps Reduce Turnover

Sales managers live in a delicate balance: Do they behave as "helicopter bosses", demanding constant updates from field reps or do let them "do their thing" and risk losing oversight of their team activities?

Most sales reps have more of an independent personality and prefer to be left alone to do their job so any manager that appears to be too demanding and suspicious risks having high rep turnover rates on their teams.

The middle ground to this situation is for businesses to adopt a GPS tracking app for field sales reps. With just one app installed on each rep's mobile devices, management is able to know which customers were visited, how long the visits lasted, and which activities were performed at each location.

Moreover, a GPS tracking app for field sales reps virtually eliminates the dreaded activity of off-hours reporting and allows managers real-time access to call summary reports and activity queries.

Additional features of GPS tracking apps for field sales reps might include:

  • Customization of forms so data capture corresponds to business needs;
  • optimized daily route scheduling and planning;
  • availability of customer as well as product information on rep's mobile device;
  • options for automatically scheduling follow-up calls;
  • real-time chart reports, among others.


VisitBasis is a GPS tracking app for field sales reps that works in Apple as well as Android devices. With VisitBasis, either managers or reps can create and optimize daily customer routes and call information becomes available for viewing and reporting as soon as visits are closed.

Would you like to see for yourself how VisitBasis will work for your business? Sign up today for a free trial at www.visitbasis.com.