Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Computer Vision for FMCG and Retail. Organizing the world’s most unorganized retail channel.
Across emerging markets, over 80% of essentials and consumer goods purchases take place in the local neighborhood mom & pop shops or as they are commonly called Kiranas. This retail channel is a fragmented sea of independently owned stores and is called “unorganized retail”. A channel critical for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies to be present in.
The unorganized retail channel consists of millions of stores within the nooks and crannies of every neighborhood. India alone has more than 15 million. Selling to, and ensuring product visibility and availability in, every one of these stores can be a nightmare. Yet it is vital for FMCG companies to do so, as 2 out of 3 consumer decisions are taken inside these stores.
An FMCG company’s lack of visibility and data from unorganized retail leads to operational losses coupled with missed sales opportunities. In India alone, more than $1 billion was spent on in-store execution in 2019, of which 60% was never executed.
This dominant retail channel persists in high growth emerging markets across the world from South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa to even Latin America. Even during the COVID-19 lockdowns, these stores have continued playing a central role in having essentials available for their communities.
Enter, Retail Pulse.
Built ground up for the chaotic retail in emerging markets, our computer vision based solution runs right on the smartphones of FMCG company’s sales reps.
With each photo clicked by the sales rep, merchandiser, or store auditor, our image recognition technology detects every product and company asset inside each store. This results in real-time shelf analytics such as the share of shelf, in-store execution compliance, and competition insights for our customers, the FMCG companies. We can also generate deep analytics such as visibility score, store sell-in potential, and key sales drivers.
We, Retail Pulse, intend to become a new standard of information, data, and analytics for consumer goods companies and retail starting with emerging markets. FMCG companies can now gain complete control over unorganized retail and streamline their operations on the data that is most critical to their business, to retailers and consumers.
Unorganized retail now no longer has to be a blackbox. With us, our customers have the pulse of every shelf at their fingertips!