Using the LocalEyes app, brands can appoint customers to check and quantify the impact their sales and marketing strategy is having on the ground, inside stores, and remunerate them for their efforts.
Involving consumers and customers in brand sales strategy is nothing new. This summer Paris-based Mobeye launched an app which enables brands to obtain feedback on customers’ in-store experience and so help to refine their strategy. Now LocalEyes, a startup also based in Paris which emerged from the Le Camping incubator in late November, is taking this a step further, by bringing customers on board as retail investigators, whom they are dubbing ‘Reporter-Representatives’ (REP2s). “Brands invest on average close to 3% of their turnover in retail marketing strategies, but they don’t always have the means in terms of personnel to constantly track how these strategies are actually being put into practice in-store,” points out Olivier Mougenot, one of the company’s co-founders. Now LocalEyes provides a way to remunerate customers for helping brands to assess the effectiveness of a given aspect of their overall strategy and check that it has been properly implemented in-store.
Remunerating the consumer
The LocalEyes platform puts the brand and the consumer in direct touch with each other. In just a few minutes a brand can set up a precise task, comprising a brief, a list of questions it requires answers to, and the addresses of the stores it wants the consumer to go to. Rather like Mobeye, if the customer accepts the task, s/he will have to check that a given product is for instance actually stacked on the end display, or that a particular merchandising totem pole is really in the right place at the store. In addition to this purely check-list job, the LocalEyes customer can also be asked to send in qualitative comments on how the sales strategy is being implemented, by for example conducting direct interviews with other customers, prospecting for customers, or tracking competitors’ products. “We wanted to go beyond the purely financial aspect, to use gaming features and transform these tasks into a sort of treasure hunt,” explains Olivier Mougenot, adding: “The results have been way beyond our expectations, mainly because our LocalEyes customers are providing far more detailed analyses than we were originally expecting.”
Tasks are remunerated at between €4 and €7, and LocalEyes checks the accuracy of the work submitted, using GPS to track the Reporter-Representatives and the photos they send in of the products they were asked to monitor. “We assist our clients at two different levels, on the one hand by measuring a specific campaign or action, such as a product launch, and on the other hand we can provide brands with a continuous analysis of their retail performance,” underlines the LocalEyes co-founder. Apps offering this kind of direct feedback may have a variety of uses. LocalEyes was launched only some twelve weeks ago, but it has already set up partnerships with firms such as Microsoft, Warner and French company Bic. With a network of over 7,200 Reporter-Representatives, the startup is still at the product improvement stage, seeking especially to integrate more advanced functionality into the task selection process.