Knowing if a product is available at stores is of utmost concern for many managers at CPG companies: from merchandising to retail channel operations and from marketing to finance, many departments have their performance measured by how well revenue grows during a fiscal year. Product shortages or recurring stocking issues, however, can seriously affect revenues, especially because shoppers may switch brands because of these issues.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a reality in online shopping. Who hasn’t seen a “relevant” ad on social media right after doing a web search on a certain product? Now retail image recognition is bringing artificial intelligence to store shelves as systems for retail execution start incorporating this technology.
Now, artificial intelligence is bringing in the newest developments in retail audit system solutions with product recognition for on-shelf availability detection. What this means is that merchandisers at stores will only need to take one picture of the target product shelf and data – such as on-shelf availability and share of shelf – will be automatically extracted from it, making it possible for merchandising and distribution managers to generate instant reports and tweak their planning in order to avoid out-of-stocks.
Adopting a system for merchandising is the first step in achieving the oversight necessary to effectively monitor retail channel strategies. With a system for merchandising, management can streamline keeping track of merchandise sets and resets, promotions, etc, by customizing audit forms and capturing valuable information without having to go through the cumbersome activity of transcribing paper forms.