By Tim Ellis, business manager, Momentum Instore
Brands and retailers are operating in an environment where budgets are usually stretched to the limit and competition is fierce. They often have to respond quickly to change and need quality information on which to base informed, effective decisions. This is particularly true when implementing instore campaigns, which is why a high standard of real-time reporting is a key part of any project to ensure quality results and a tangible return on investment.
Real-time reporting on the progress of a campaign also enables all parties involved in a point of purchase installation, merchandising or retail audit project to make more effective use of their time. Face-to-face meetings and lengthy conference calls are not as necessary when the client, design agency, manufacturer and installation agency itself can access up to the minute data 24/7. In addition, projects become much easier to coordinate when real time information is at everyone’s fingertips, ensuring that the original schedule and deadlines are met.
So what types of technology can you use within your real time reporting arsenal?
Web Based Reporting Systems
Web based reporting systems such as estate management systems can act as a hub for collating all information relating to a specific installation or merchandising project. At each stage of a project’s progress, reports and visuals can be uploaded so that the client can see the results achieved so far and, as a team, any potential issues that might impact on costs and timescales can be identified.
These systems are particularly useful when a retailer operates on a national level as it is difficult for them to keep track of the environment in each of their stores. An estate management reporting system enables them to receive live reports about audit campaigns as they progress, providing them with up to the minute information and images. This means that they can gain a truly national perspective while having details at their fingertips about each individual store, including the display and POP kit used and the wider instore environment. This information is then used to devise even more effective future instore marketing campaigns and drive sales.
Smartphones & Tablet Computers
One of the advantages of smartphones and tablets is that they can be used to take photos. This is an essential tool to have, especially in an industry that revolves around how displays and instore environments look. Photos are integral to audit projects, where a client wants to gain an understanding of their current display and POP materials in all of their stores. In addition when individual installations and merchandising tasks are completed smartphones can be used to take photos of each finished display and immediately upload them onto a bespoke web based systems so the client can view them instantly. Of course they can also link to web based reporting systems making it possible to upload all kinds of non visual data on the go, such as details about completed installations. This means that all parties involved in a project can track its progress in real time.
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