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Guidebook: 9 coronavirus challenges at retail - field agent


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How specifically is COVID-19 disrupting the retail industry, and what can companies do to fight back? The guidebook, “9 Coronavirus Challenges At-Retail…and How to Overcome Them,” explores both questions.

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Guidebook: 9 coronavirus challenges at retail - field agent

  1. 1. Guidebook: 9 Coronavirus Challenges At-Retail …and how to overcome them
  2. 2. 2 Coronavirus Challenges, On-Demand Solutions With the spread of COVID-19, the entire retail industry is contending with an assortment of startlingly new and unique challenges. Over the coming months, businesses everywhere will be taking giant steps to survive and even thrive in a world that’s dramatically different—where retail activity is limited, where shoppers are cautious, where supply chains are stretched to capacity. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Field Agent platform is taking diligent steps to safeguard its two million-plus agents around the world even as it helps companies overcome the daunting, new challenges they’re facing.   This guidebook details on-demand solutions for 9 coronavirus challenges companies are currently facing. As you’ll see, the Field Agent platform is tailor-made to serve businesses at such a time as this.
  3. 3. Challenge: Restricted business travel All the strategies, plans, and policies in the world don’t matter if they aren’t executed properly inside stores. Which is why HQ and field staff across the retail industry often make personal visits to stores.   But, in this new environment of limited travel, how do companies stay connected to what’s really happening in stores?   For 10 years the Field Agent platform has been our clients’ “eyes and ears,” showing them what they can’t readily see for themselves–whether that’s prices, shelves, displays…you name it. With over two million agents around the world, including over one million in the U.S., agents are in the field right now to show you—in photo and video—what’s happening in stores.
  4. 4. 4 Challenge: Lagging deliveries, overwhelmed supply chains From delivery delays to overwhelmed supply chains, getting products and materials from point A to point B has become more difficult following the coronavirus outbreak.   As a result, many CPG professionals will naturally have concerns about whether their products, displays, signs, and the like actually made it to stores —and made it on-time.   The Field Agent platform offers a range of products, including on-shelf availability audits and display audits, to give companies objective proof and peace- of-mind that products, displays, or…well, whatever it is…arrived when and where they were supposed to.
  5. 5. Challenge: In-store demo cancellations In-store demos are a traditional method for driving trial of new products. And they have their time and place. But, given the many demo cancellations we’ve seen by retailers, that time and place is clearly not during a coronavirus outbreak.  Which naturally leaves many brands wondering how to drive first purchase of products in the here and now.   Digital Demo, one of many products available through the Field Agent platform, mobilizes real shoppers to purchase specific products from specific stores or websites, driving first purchase, yielding actual sales, and even generating positive, winsome content online.   It’s a sure fire alternative to traditional, in-store demos. See How Digital Demo Worked for Kraft Heinz
  6. 6. 6 Challenge: Out-of-stocks Since its initial landfall, COVID-19 has been straining retail and supply chain systems to keep up with customer demand—especially in critical categories like disinfectant wipes and toilet paper.   Case-in-point: Immediately following the outbreak, the Field Agent platform found an 85% out-of-stock rate on disinfectant wipes across 46 stores on the West Coast. Yes, coronavirus has the potential to wreak havoc on stock levels.   Out-of-stock and on-shelf availability audits through the Field Agent platform help companies keep a watchful eye on which products are available— and which are not— anywhere products are sold. Agent Photo
  7. 7. Challenge: Trade show cancellations First impressions are everything, especially if you’re a new product. Retail buyers and, of course, shoppers can be difficult to impress.   Unfortunately, with the coronavirus outbreak, many trade shows and similar events have been cancelled. So, how do new products audition—and audition well— for buyers and shoppers?   Two Field Agent products—Digital Demo and Ratings & Reviews—give products a crucial early boost in both awareness and sales. Both products enlist real shoppers to purchase new products. And while Digital Demo produces high-quality online articles, Ratings & Reviews generate, yep, ratings and reviews on retailers’ product-level, e-commerce pages.   Both help new products make favorable first impressions, even when trade shows are no longer an option.
  8. 8. 8 Challenge: OGP and delivery As the coronavirus spreads, many shoppers will of course be looking to avoid crowds and bypass stores. And shoppers now have the ready means to do it: online grocery-pickup (OGP) and delivery.   But, if more shoppers are relying on OGP and delivery, retailers and brands must take strides to understand, monitor, and even sell through the new pickup and delivery ecosystem.   From audits to mystery shops to digital product demos, the Field Agent platform has tools to help companies win at OGP and delivery. Take a look at our “Inside OGP” report for examples.
  9. 9. Challenge: Sanitary stores With concerns about COVID-19 spreading as fast as the virus itself, retailers are taking diligent measures to ensure the safety and well-being of shoppers and employees alike. Maybe it’s tougher maintenance standards, or maybe it’s adding disinfectant stations around stores.   The Field Agent platform includes mystery shopping and auditing products to ensure facilities are well- maintained, and shoppers/employees are safe.   Click here to see how the Field Agent platform audited disinfectant and sanitizer dispensers inside 100 stores across the country. Agent Photo
  10. 10. 10 Challenge: Understaffed stores Out-of-stocks. Incorrect prices. Missing displays.   These were all concerns among brands and retailers before the coronavirus outbreak. Now, with retailers understaffed, these concerns have become even more pressing.   The Field Agent platform regularly inspects stores to ensure retail plans are becoming operational realities —that shelves are stocked, prices are correct, and displays are in place. With photos and data in-hand, brands can approach retail partners, and retailers can approach store managers, with proof of poor execution—so things are more likely to get changed.
  11. 11. Challenge: Shoppers in the age of coronavirus We thought we knew shoppers. Then COVID-19 hit, and that path-to-purchase looks somewhat less clear.   • What changes are shoppers making to their consumption, purchase, and shopping habits? • What do shoppers value now? • What are the best ways to serve and win online grocery-shoppers?   All crucial questions following the coronavirus outbreak.   The Field Agent platform offers shopalongs, concept tests, buy and tries, anywhere surveys, and other solutions for acquiring fast, accurate shopper insights.  All to help companies make sense of shoppers in this “brave, new world.”
  12. 12. Click Here to Talk to Us | Rise to the Challenge Get in touch today. The Field Agent on-demand platform specializes in helping brands, retailers, and agencies overcome obstacles. Whether it’s travel restrictions, demo cancellations, out-of-stocks, poor retail execution, or something else, the Field Agent platform has the tools to help your company rise to the challenge.