With Scan In Store, Optimix revolutionizes in-store competitive data collection

Discover how Scan In Store optimizes the collection of competitive data at the point of sale and enables a new level of responsiveness to the market: real time.

Table des matières

It’s a secret for nobody that in the retail industry, price is a key factor of differentiation and competitiveness. Thus, retailers and pure players pay particular attention to the design of their pricing strategies. In order to deploy a coherent strategy in relation to the market and to position oneself effectively, it is imperative today to base one’s thinking on up-to-date data, from one’s own point of sale but also from competing stores – prices charged, promotions, available products, ranges deployed, etc.

Regardless of its source, this data is the foundation of a competitive pricing strategy. So how can we optimize data collection to use only the most relevant data possible? How can we have the most up-to-date offline data to match the responsiveness of the web?

To answer this question, Optimix has developed two ergonomic, fully customizable and result-oriented solutions: the Web Data Collect module – a tool for capturing data from competing websites – and the Scan In Store module.

In this article, we focus on the collection of data at points of sale, via the Scan In Store module.

Scan In Store: optimizing data collection at the point of sale

Although external service providers offer in-store data collection services, these operations are often of limited interest when it comes to products with high competitive potential and/or whose prices fluctuate very frequently. Indeed, the delay in transmitting the results of a data collection campaign carried out by an external service provider is an obstacle to the rapid integration of sensitive data into your pricing strategy. However, to remain competitive in the face of regularly changing competitive prices, you need to be responsive and flexible: otherwise it is impossible to establish a pricing strategy that is in line with the latest market updates. The emergence of digital and pure players has reinforced this requirement, by dictating a new level of reactivity to the market: real time.

Who knows if your competitor has not changed the price of a product with high competitive potential two days, one day or three hours after the last collection you have? Are your pricing operations still relevant?

Scan In Store provides a calibrated response to these issues to better manage data collection: responsiveness, recurrence and reliability are the key words. Do you want your users to check the prices of your competitors’ leading products every morning? No problem, all you need is a smartphone.

Scan In Store: organize targeted and regular data collection

An accessible and ergonomic application

Scan In Store is a mobile application dedicated to in-store price collection. Once installed on a smartphone, it allows store teams to collect product data at the point of sale: labels, prices, barcodes and photographs.

To begin, the head office defines the scope of the data collection: the target store(s), the date of the survey, the person in charge and the products concerned. The user in charge of the survey receives a mission order in his application summarizing all this information. He then goes to the point of sale to photograph the labels and products with his smartphone and imports them directly into Scan In Store.

Once this step is completed, the software takes over. Scan In Store’s artificial intelligence extracts the key elements of the photographed labels: the product name, its bottom shelf price and its barcode. It adds these elements to the existing database and presents them to the operator in the form of analysis tables for easy reading and understanding. The user consults this data via the Scan In Store interface, deployed on smartphones, tablets and computers.

An application adapted to product matching and pricing

Aware of the challenges of data collection – product matching, pricing strategy, range consistency, etc. -Optimix has developed an application adapted to the diversity of needs that justify data collection. To do this, three collection operations can be configured.

Scan In Store Collecte de données smartphone appli IA
With Scan In Store, collect the data you need when you need it

Price Scan on Match: the reading of prices in competing stores on already matched products

Let’s get right to the heart of the matter. The Price Scan on Match operation updates in real time the targeted product prices according to your needs and your competitive perimeter. It responds to a strategic need: to have an up-to-date price list to adopt a relevant price positioning.

Let’s illustrate how it works with a concrete example: the store wants to improve the price positioning of products sold in the appetizer section. To do this, the head office defines a list of branded products in Scan In Store, either national or own brand: chips, olives, pretzels, etc. These products have already been chained together, and all that remains is to update the competing prices.

With his smartphone, the user goes to the competitor’s store and collects the data according to the predefined list. For each product, the application automatically detects the existing match and updates the price of the competing product in real time. The data collected from time to time is thus directly integrated into Scan In Store’s analysis tables, but also eventually into the Optimix Pricing Analytics application suite, presented in more detail here. Thanks to this interconnection of Optimix modules, you can collect and integrate your competitors’ prices into your pricing strategy in real time.

The only prerequisite for this method is that the matching between your products and those of the competition has already been established. This chaining operation is strategic, since it is impossible to compare branded products with competing products without it. The Scan In Store module allows you to ensure that your matching is efficient, reliable and in line with your needs by using two types of operations dedicated to chaining and described below.

Collect, Scan and Match: data matching on closed product lists

This operation configuration consists of collecting data to match products directly in the competing store. It relies on the intervention of a user who goes to the competing store. He checks the available products, establishes the links between products and proceeds to the chaining on the spot.

Let’s go back to our example. In order to improve the competitiveness of its appetizer department, the retailer wants to collect data from a competitor’s store: available products – identical or comparable to those of the retailer – prices, labels, barcodes. To do this, the head office selects in Scan In Store the store’s products for which chaining is not yet available. If these products are not yet referenced in the application, a prior data collection in the store of the brand is necessary to update the database.

scan collecte de données concurrentes étiquette retail pricing EAN

After that, the user goes to the competing store. His objective is to match the products of the competitor’s aperitif section with those of the store. To optimize the process and make it more reliable, the user has access, via the application, to photographs of the store’s products, their labels, bar codes and prices. When he establishes a match between two products, he photographs the competing product and its label. In doing so, it validates the match between the two products directly on the shelf and imports the competing data – price, barcode, label, photographs – into Scan In Store.

Walk, Scan and Match: data collection and chaining on the fly

The latter type of transaction is also intended to establish a product match. However, the scanning process is different. The user does not have any predefined target products to scan. When he visits the competitor’s store, he will pick up references on the fly, without any particular focus on specific products.

The matching operation will only take place afterwards, after the collection in store. Once the collected data is imported into the application, an operator establishes and validates the product matches from the interface. This type of collection has the advantage of limiting the time spent in the competitor’s store and of completing your database according to the availability of your teams.

In these two matching operations, the product photographs play a role as a safeguard. Indeed, they allow you to verify the collected data and the established matching, thus ensuring that the database is 100% reliable and usable. In order to further optimize its operation and better meet the needs of the retail industry, Optimix has equipped Scan In Store with a powerful artificial intelligence, complemented by human intelligence.

Optimizing your performance through Artificial Intelligence and machine learning

Scan In Store’s artificial intelligence intervenes at several levels. For example, it can be found in the reading and extraction of label data, but also in the automatic matching of products. To guarantee the efficiency of the application, this artificial intelligence works on the principle of Machine Learning.

To understand what this means, let’s take an example: the software makes a mistake in interpreting the data from a label, indicating a price of 0.59€ instead of 5.90€. However, as we have seen, operators can rectify the erroneous information from the Scan In Store interface. All they have to do is look at the user’s photos of the label and the product, and check that the software has extracted the correct information. In our case, the operator detects the price error, corrects it and validates the product file.

This process of correction and validation of the information is essential for two reasons. First of all, it allows, through the intervention of human intelligence, to aggregate and verify the data that will be used afterwards to control the external chaining and to make the holding rate relevant. This verification can take place at each step of the process and at all hierarchical levels. Once again, photographs are the key: there is no room for doubt or error in your analysis tables.

Second, because of the very nature of the Machine Learning principle. In concrete terms, this means that the more data the application obtains to process – scans, corrections, etc. – the more it will process the data. -the more efficient its information processing will be. Artificial intelligence thus improves its ability to decipher labels and extract relevant information. It is thus capable of interpreting label models to refine its reading and gain in performance. This joint work of intelligence optimizes the data collection process at all levels.

Data collection, the key to your competitiveness

The advent of the digital age has shaken up the traditional codes of competitive intelligence. New technologies facilitate the collection of data, on competitors’ websites or directly at the point of sale. As a fundamental component of your competitiveness, the exploitation of collected data allows you to adjust your positioning and pricing strategy in order to increase your sales, margins, price positioning and market share. Optimix offers, via Scan In Store, a real-time data collection solution, ergonomic and adapted to the challenges of pricing reactivity. Scan In Store optimizes the organization of the resources required for price capture, whether in terms of time or personnel.

Its action, organized concomitantly with the other Optimix modules, allows you to place your data collection in an environment dedicated to your price competitiveness. We invite you to contact us for more information or a demonstration.

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