Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Competitive Advantage of Mobile Merchandising Technology

merchandising mobile technology
Retail merchandising is a complex science. It relies on data from a large number of geographically dispersed stores and, therefore, also relies on the large number of people collecting such data.

However, many retail-focused businesses - CPG manufacturers, distributors, and agencies - are still dispatching reps and using the traditional pen-and-paper method of collecting data.

While dispatching reps will still be a reality, there is one way out of the cumbersome and time-consuming pen-and-paper: Mobile merchandising technology, which grants several competitive advantages to the businesses that adopt it, among them the following:

Improved brand consistency
Mobile merchandising technology makes it possible to capture images and customize checklists and forms. It also allows creating tasks that are set up by the office, as well as ad-hoc tasks that reps can assign themselves, such as in the case of out-of-stocks or damaged products.
With these features in hand, merchandising and brand management can make sure that their strategies are being properly implemented.

GPS verification of store visits
One of the most common issues that merchandising teams face is, unfortunately, the number of fraudulent visits. Some of the mobile merchandising technology solutions available in the market provide GPS verification of visits, increasing accountability as well as data accuracy and brand compliance.

Real-time access to data
The lag time between data collection and running reports can be significantly delayed by the data transcription necessary to the traditional pen-and-paper audits. With a Cloud-based mobile merchandising technology solution, managers at the office can access data as soon as reps finish their visits and synchronize their devices, leading to faster and more effective decision-making.

Want to know how to implement mobile merchandising technology for your business? Check out  www.visitbasis.com and sign up for a free trial of VisitBasis, the merchandising app chosen by many retail-focused businesses.



Monday, April 6, 2020

4 Main Benefits of Implementing a Field Force Tracking and Data Collection App

Being able to track a field force has been a part of every manager's dream. Not because all managers are controlling or "helicopter-type" but because, by not properly knowing the activities of their outside employees, they could be missing on effective mentoring opportunities and having a higher turnover rate than needed.

Mobile technology brought with it the ability to capture data with smartphones and tablets as well as GPS tracking of such devices. It was just a matter of time until field force tracking and data collection apps started to be developed. But what are the biggest advantages of these types of software?

No after-hours reporting
Reporting is one of the activities most dreaded by field reps: It requires them to work beyond customer or outlet visits, digging into their personal time. With a field force tracking and data collection app, reps can report their activities while performing visits, completely doing away with after-hours reporting.

Instant access to captured data
Mobile technology means any data collected by the app will be uploaded to the Cloud upon synchronization. This means that managers no longer have to wait for data transcription to generate their reports.

Increased in-task time
Beyond simplifying the reporting process, field force tracking and data collection apps also allow for optimized visit scheduling and routing, reducing the time reps spend traveling and therefore increasing their in-task time.

Improved compliance and communication
One of the main reasons for high turnover in-field teams is the lack of compliance. A field force tracking and data collection app helps managers clarify their message on what is expected from reps by allowing them to create custom task forms and checklists as well as creating a culture of accountability with GPS verification of visits.

VisitBasis is a field force tracking and data collection app that is cost-effective and easy to implement, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. To learn more about VisitBasis and sign up for a free trial, go to www.visitbasis.com or click here to schedule an online demo.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Implementing Image Recognition for Shelf and Brand Monitoring

Shelf and brand monitoring at retail stores is an essential part of any CPG business. Otherwise, how can merchandising management know if their strategies are being properly executed?

Adopting a mobile merchandising app is the first step in achieving the oversight necessary to effectively monitor retail channel strategies. With a mobile merchandising app, management can streamline keeping track of merchandise sets and resets, promotions, etc, by customizing audit forms and capturing valuable information without having to go through the cumbersome activity of transcribing paper forms.

Additionally, mobile merchandising apps allow for capturing pictures, which are naturally more effective in communicating the actual reality of store shelves than checklists, however with the downfall that - differently than single/ multiple-choice or numeric answers - cannot be automatically quantified.

Recently, however, these merchandising software solutions have evolved even further and now include artificial intelligence technologies that take store inspections to a whole new level. With image recognition for shelf and brand monitoring, the information contained in pictures can be automatically quantified into charts and reports.

This means that, as soon as reps take a picture at stores, image recognition for shelf monitoring will give managers at headquarters access to KPIs such as share of shelf, out-of-stocks, competitor information, among others.

BrandML is the image recognition for shelf monitoring technology developed by VisitBasis, provider of the namesake mobile merchandising app adopted by many CPG manufacturers, distributors and agencies. While state-of-the-art, 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.

Interested in learning more about the BrandML image recognition for shelf monitoring technology? Go to www.visitbasis.com and contact us.