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.
Guidebook: 9 coronavirus challenges at retail - field agent
…and how to overcome them
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
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.
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
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
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.
Challenge: In-store demo
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Challenge: Shoppers in the age of
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
All crucial questions following the coronavirus
The Field Agent platform oﬀers shopalongs, concept
tests, buy and tries, anywhere surveys, and other
solutions for acquiring fast, accurate shopper
All to help companies make sense of shoppers in this
“brave, new world.”
Click Here to Talk to Us
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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.