Until a few years ago, if you were a manager at HQ, knowing what was going on at each individual store required not only an enormous amount of effort, but also the deployment of employees to report information to you. Instead of burdening store staff or regional managers with reporting (in effect taking them away from selling and customer service), the intelligence of the masses can be gathered with new technologies to provide the store-level information you need.
Imagine if you had eyes at each of your stores (and third party distributors) and could check anytime that real-time promotions were implemented correctly, prices posted were up-to-date and store layouts matched the planogram - then quickly make decisions based on this information. Would that make your life as a corporate retail manager or marketing manager easier and more effective? If you think so, then crowdsourcing is the right thing for you!
But let's start with the basics: The term crowdsourcing is a combination of “crowd,” i.e. the amount of people, and “outsourcing,” i.e. using outside parties as a source of services. Our product, Simply Tasks uses exactly this principle to revolutionize market research. The Simply Tasks real-time model is based on an app that every end consumer can simply install on their smartphone and use it to complete simple reporting tasks in a store (thus named Simply Tasks). Why would consumers want to do this? On the one hand there is a small monetary bonus for every task; on the other hand studies have found that almost every retail consumer likes to participate in the development and improvement of products and services.
The Knowledge of the Masses - At A Glance
Taskers is the name of the large group of consumer worldwide who sign up for Simply Tasks. The Taskers are always ready to perform a wide variety of market research tasks and collect a large amount of data relevant to you. All of this data flows into a real-time dashboard where designated employees at HQ can access crucial store information. What makes Simply Tasks so valuable? There are Taskers in almost every place in the world, and collectively Simply Tasks uses over 1 million people who do tasks every day. The consumers that sign up to be Taskers and download the app have to do a few quick tests to make sure they can achieve quality data reporting. Then they can sign up for tasks.
The data collection and reporting projects that Simply Task handles are all very different and adapted to the specific reporting needs of our client. The Taskers can answer questions about products from home, test online stores or go directly to the physical store to collect information. They can provide pictures from the stores or online screenshots as well as answer a few questions relevant to corporate HQ. Before data that the Taskers collect is transferred to the project dashboard, it goes through our automated quality assurance system. In addition, all images have a time and GPS stamp to verify that the Tasker was at the correct store location.
Versatile Areas of Application
“Crowdsourcing is now used by a wide variety of companies from almost all industries,” explains Florian Wimmer, Global Director Simply Tasks at ISC-CX, “Our retail clients at corporate offices really appreciate the fact that they receive market research so quickly, easily and comparatively cheaply directly from the stores—physical or online.” Because the costs of recruiting employees to travel to stores and the associated travel expenses are completely eliminated with crowdsourcing, companies get the benefit of only paying for the data.
In contrast to more complex customer service checks (also known as mystery shopping), in which consumers receive intensive training and perform “long form” reporting for all service elements, crowdsourcing is an easy way to get real retail consumers to give quick specific feedback while doing their daily shopping. Using crowdsourcing, the corporate client not only receives objective data, but can also conveniently request subjective opinions from consumers and thus continuously improve products and customer service.