From Pickup to Organic: Walmart Suppliers Ask Field Agent 7 Questions
“Facts” are essential to effective retail execution.
From customer buying patterns to product-usage statistics, brands and retailers cannot succeed at-retail without an arsenal of factual information at their disposal. And, of course, it’s through tried-and-true methods like surveying and focus groups that companies have traditionally gathered “the facts.”
But according to Field Agent CEO Rick West, who yesterday spoke to a gathering of Walmart suppliers at the "Shopper Marketing Excellence" share group of Northwest Arkansas, CPG companies should start thinking beyond facts.
During the share group, an event hosted by Path to Purchase Institute, West first addressed seven questions submitted by attendees prior to the event. As you can see below, topics ranged from meal-planning to organic selections to grocery pickup.
To answer these questions—you might say, to gather the “facts”—Field Agent surveyed over 3,000 Walmart grocery-shoppers. The slideshow presents this Q&A with Walmart suppliers.
But as West explained, today, facts can be so much more, they can do so much more.
“The facts,” while crucial to retail success, represent only the bottom rung of a much taller ladder. They merely scratch the surface of what today’s data-providers can offer.
According to West, facts can indeed become the foundation for something really great: for not only understanding shoppers’ behaviors and attitudes, but for gaining ever-deeper insights into actual shopper experiences and even driving sales through “everyday influencers.”
As West said, “Facts are great. Billion-dollar brands have been built on facts. But if you’re already spending money to get the facts, why not make those facts really work for you?”
For example, it’s one thing to let customers tell you, via a survey perhaps, how often they use your product. That’ll produce some useful facts. But it’s another thing to actually be with customers as they use your products—to go from facts to insights and experiences.
“Today’s technologically-sophisticated data-collection methods let businesses capture in-the-moment photos or video, and delve deeper than ever into customer experiences,” West said. “From makeup application to meal preparation, it’s amazing what we can show you today.”
But higher up the ladder than even insights and experiences, West also described how data can become the basis for creating buzz around new products.
It works this way at West's company: Field Agent asks members of its mobile panel to visit stores where they purchase a specific product, often a new product. The customer, or agent, then takes the product home, tries it, and chronicles his or her experience with it—all through the Field Agent mobile app. From these submissions, Field Agent designs and publishes high-quality, “user-generated content” which agents, i.e., those who wrote the content, are then incentivized to share on their private social media networks.
“Imagine you launch a new product and within a week or two flood social media with thousands of these posts,” West said. “Now that’s buzz, and it’s all from ‘everyday influencers’ who are trusted by their friends.”
Facts (like those in the presentation above) to insights to experiences to, ultimately, influence.
Think beyond the facts. Go higher. This was West’s message and encouragement to Walmart suppliers yesterday.
“It’s all about more from less,” West said. “You’ve already spent money and invested time gathering the facts. Why not climb that ladder and make the facts really work for you?”
Click below to learn how Field Agent helps companies go from facts to experiences to influence.