What are ghost stores for an FMCG brand? Well! I am talking about the ones that exist only in your database. For various reasons they crept in over the years. Nobody cared. However times are changing. Need is to increase deeper engagement with point of sales. Sales Directors and their IT partners are out on a hunt to –
• Weed out the ghost stores
• Have enriched profile data of retail stores
Some of them are also trying to discover hidden stores at the ground level. Others are also mapping them in context of demographics. Big deal! But then it dawns upon us, we got to reach the bridge before we cross it.
So are we suggesting a magic bullet here. No, but we have hustled enough to create the most robust technology component possible for doing this. Here is a brief on what it is based on-
It’s really not about having a mobile application that can capture data from the field. With millions of stores out there, what works is having a tool that integrates people and technology with a smart UX/UI. It took our engineers a while to get the most precise GPS capture, but it took equal amount of UX and UI effort from our designers to create a mechanism that is self-sustaining to deliver always current data bank of your retail landscape. A mechanism that ensures store profile enrichment and cleansing on its own.
• Hiring a field force agency to do a one-time electronic data survey is not a great idea
Profile Completeness and Authenticity
In most populous nations laws are rigid and flexible at the same time. There are all kinds of licenses and lack of it that exists for retail stores. Be clear on your vision of the level of engagement that you want to run in future. The process and tool you use to profile your retail landscape has to support what you want to collect.
• Keeping a profile completeness score is a good beginning
You just finished a massive exercise to profile your landscape. Guess what, it’s going to be stale very soon, if you did not figure out a process of meaningfully engaging with your retail store data. Once again what is going to produce lasting impact is weaving the data bank with day to day transactions and occasional engagements that ensures completeness, lack of duplicity and richness of your retail landscape data.