Picture this: it’s Sunday morning and the birds are chirping. You head into the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee when halfway into the brew cycle your coffee maker breaks. What a ghastly situation! Off to Target you go to replace your Morning Toast* coffee maker. You get to the store and head to the “Kitchen Appliances” aisle only to find that the Morning Toast T300 model is nowhere to be found; the shelf talker sits peacefully on the shelf, but there is no inventory. You love your Morning Toast coffee maker, but you don’t see any Target employees in the vicinity and you really need a replacement coffee maker immediately or your head might explode from improper caffeination (a proper medical diagnosis). You see a Keurig slightly more expensive than your T300 model, but you need coffee stat and coffee pods don’t sound so bad after all, right?
Little do you the consumer know there are five brand new Morning Toast T300 models in the stockroom ready for purchase, but last night’s replenishment shift could not locate the last shipment of goods, therefore leaving the shelf empty. Don’t be like Morning Toast.
At any given time, 5-10% of products offered in grocery stores are unavailable. As a consumer, you don’t care why a product is out-of-stock (OOS) and you certainly don’t have patience, with the vast quantity of options available, to search alternate locations or roam around the store in search of a representative who can scour the stockroom. If a shopper visits a store and their preferred product is unavailable, 49% of shoppers will purchase a substitute product and 39% of shoppers will leave empty handed. This is a serious issue that could be depleting your sales in both the short and long term.
* Fictitious name used to prevent revealing our favoritism.
How Monitoring OOS Helps Sales
Monitoring OOS in store in the form of a retail audit can help with sales in three distinct ways:
Always There for You
The simplest way monitoring OOS helps with your company’s sales numbers is: you are here when the customer needs you to be there (queue “I’ll Be There for You” by the Rembrandts).
When your products are nicely nestled on the shelf in appropriate quantities, your customer will make the purchase or repurchase and go on their merry way none-the-wiser. When your products are OOS, it makes a big impact on the shopper’s experience.
According to a Forbes study on consumer behavior, 89% of women and 78% of men add impulse items to their cart even beyond the need identified in their shopping excursion. That is a massively untapped opportunity for your business; ensuring your product remains on shelf increases the possibility of impulse purchases made by eager shoppers.
Take Advantage of Competitive OOS
When you monitor and quickly address your OOS issues, you ensure that your CPG or FMCG business remains on the shelf as the alternative solution to competitive OOS. You can win an unexpected sale just by having inventory on the shelf; if only sales were always this easy!
Monitoring OOS with Crowdsourcing
A distribution of three to five retail locations is overwhelming enough to monitor, not to mention distribution in the hundreds or thousands. Manual shelf audits can rack up in cost and are particularly difficult to scale as distribution increases. On the other hand, purchasing shelf monitoring cameras or alternative technology solutions can amount to astronomical prices when distribution is even moderately-sized.
Crowdsourcing retail audits allow you to constantly keep an eye on OOS to your required scale. Contributors can collect relevant shelf monitoring data including not just OOS but share-of-shelf, retailer compliance and competitive merchandising to aid your business in strategic decisions. A quality crowdsourcing solution ensures that data collected from Contributors is high quality with subsequent, insights-driven analytics that can help your business optimize marketing and sales strategies.
Monitoring OOS with Premise
Premise’s crowdsourcing technology uses a robust, innovative mobile application to collect real-time data from an extensive network of Contributors around the globe. These local Contributors provide an unbiased, unique perspective that allows them to collect extremely granular data and glean valuable consumer and competitive insight on a local level.
Are you interested in learning more about how Premise can help you monitor OOS using crowdsourced data? Visit www.premise.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to help you become more data-driven.