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Three Ways CPG Companies Can Leverage Video Analytics to Improve Everything from Customer Service to Visual Merchandising

Posted @ 3:19 pm by Tim Ross | Category: Marketing Analytics, Rich Media & Video, Strategy | 0 Comments

This is part seven of our series on how Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies can leverage web and mobile technologies to drive business results. View other articles in the series here: part one on increasing sales, part two on driving research and development, part three on improving customer service, part four on mobile innovations, part five on turning video into value, and part six on utilizing web content management tools.

We’ve talked before about the value of video to brands in terms of creating and distributing videos online, but there’s another video asset that CPG brands don’t often think about: in-store video. Every retailer has surveillance cameras installed and the majority of them are now using digital cameras and storage. With the digitizing of security video came a host of companies with analytics aimed at reducing theft and improving security at retail stores. Now the next generation of that software is emerging, aimed not at protecting brick-and-mortar stores so much as the brands behind them.

Leveraging already-installed cameras, retailers can find out which inventory moves quickest, when they need more or less staff, and which visual marketing displays do best. But this new software isn’t just a boon to retailers. Following are three ways CPG brands can use next-generation video analytics to protect and strengthen relationships with consumers.



1. Ensure Visual Consistency Across Retail Outlets

Here’s a scenario that’s probably not too difficult to imagine: You spend tens of thousands of dollars and countless staff hours to conceive of and create a new end-cap display highlighting a range of new products. It looks great, it’s testing great, everyone’s excited for the rollout, but to make sure that it’s displayed as it should be, you’d have to send a member of your team to every retail store. No company is going to pay to do that, but knowing that every retailer is displaying your visual marketing in the same way would nonetheless be valuable. This is where video analytics can play a huge role.

Prism Skylabs, a San Francisco-based video analytics company (started by my former business partner Stephen Russell, in the interest of full disclosure), offers a cloud-based service that enables brands to virtually see every display from the comforts of the home office. Major national brands such as Brown Shoe Company and T-Mobile are already using Prism to do exactly that and marketers are raving about the results.

2. Gain Insights into Retail Shopping Habits

By studying the heatmaps Prism generated of her two San Francisco boutiques, clothing designer Sunhee Moon learned that customers were gravitating toward the right sides of her shops, so she rearranged her inventory to highlight new products or items she especially wants to move. Moon saw an immediate bump in revenue for her efforts.

Obviously it’s tougher to do this across a major retail chain than it is in two San Francisco boutiques, but just imagine the benefits: CPG brands could run virtual product tests all the time, pitting one product against another, one type of packaging against another, and so forth. Using analytics in this way could also help CPG brands evaluate the efficacy of various marketing efforts, from end-cap displays to in-store samples.

3. Geographically Tailored Marketing

Until now, CPG brands have been fairly limited in their options when it comes to tailoring marketing efforts. With analytics like the sort Prism is offering, CPG brands can get a far better understanding of which products are selling more in which areas and target their marketing accordingly. If juice A sells 80% better than juice B in northern California, for example, the company could decide to run a promotion on juice B, increase local advertising in that market, or pull juice B from stores in that region altogether.

Given that most CPG brands don’t own their own retail outlets, it might require building more partnerships with retailers to access this type of software. However, given the fact that it operates off of existing hardware, is available for a low monthly fee, and would also help retailers to improve staffing and reduce losses, it doesn’t seem like a very hard sell.


Author: Tim Ross is CEO of SolutionSet.

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