Accurate, Reliable, Timely

Retail

Overview

In the early 1990's, Informed Sources broadened its focus beyond the Petroleum Industry and entered the world of Retail. The skills and experience gained from successfully managing an extensive field force, developing proprietary data capture systems and supplying data of the highest quality at an ever increasing pace, provided us with the building blocks necessary to 'make a real difference' within this business sector.

As we all know, the balance between price, product, people, promotion and place is paramount to the level of success a retailer can achieve. It is also imperative that the retailer's brand/image and competitive offer is not compromised across its network.

Since entering this market, Informed Sources has worked with leading retailers across the world and continues to assist them reach their commercial goals and strategic targets. Whether it be understanding competition prices, promotional activity, product range & quality, service levels, stock weights and space allocation, Informed Sources can develop a program that meets your focus, strategy and timing constraints.

Our services are valued by a number of retailers (both large and small) around the world and across varied retail divisions, including:

 

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Convenience Stores

Informed Sources has been providing a range of services that specifically assist with the management of petrol station shops and selected 'small store' retail formats across Australia & New Zealand for well over fifteen years.

While the components of these services have changed many times throughout this period to facilitate the variances in client strategy, product focus, market pressures and overall economic climate, the fundamental benefits these programs offer have remained the same.

Some of these services include:

  • PriceWatch C-store programs assist with the development of (and compliance to) your price strategy regarding convenience items sold within your shops across the network. A 'basket' of products are 'priced' in an agreed selection of sites on a periodical basis to enable the refinement of pricing tactics as well as the tracking of price position over time (which can also add weight to price promotional claims during supplier negotiations).
  • Promotional Compliance programs allow you to measure the level of compliance achieved for each scheduled promotion within each shop. They highlight areas that may be impacting the overall success of each campaign, be it supply issues (of product or marketing materials), signage placement or use of particular print media/talkers, to name a few.
  • Stock Weight & Out of Stock programs enable you to determine whether inventory issues are causing a loss of sales volume on particular lines and if so, which part/s of the supply chain process needs fine tuning. These surveys can cover the whole store or focus on specific lines or categories. Regularly monitoring 'gaps' found throughout a store will highlight whether there are issues with specific products, suppliers, distribution centres or store locations.
  • Mystery Shop programs are custom designed with each client to highlight key aspects of the customer experience. The surveys are concise and tend to target core areas of staff presentation, manner and level of service. Selected competitor sites can also be included in the collection schedule to provide a market comparison.
  • Facility Audit programs measure the presentation of your stores against a predefined list of 'company standards'. These surveys are generally conducted overtly and tend to focus on key presentation elements such as lighting, cleanliness, signage, health and safety requirements and even compliance to local government legislation.

 

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Supermarkets

Informed Sources has been working with the leading supermarket chains across the Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia since 1992. Due to the ever changing nature and increasing competition of this industry sector, the dynamics of our service programs are specifically tailored to meet the exact strategic requirements of each retailer.

Through working in partnership with our retail clients, we assist them with determining the actual data components and frequency that will best enable them to reach their operational objectives. We have found that most clients benefit from a cross section of programs that allow them to:

  1. Define a 'snapshot' of the total market at regular intervals
  2. Manage their price strategy and fine-tune their market position on a week to week basis
  3. Conduct a range review on a rotational basis (comparing price, space and/or the range on offer)
  4. Monitor supply chain performance at store level
  5. Audit operational compliance to the company policy/standards (layout, space allocation, service, etc)
  6. Perform project specific spot checks to quantify the level of success

Our PriceWatch Supermarkets programs will keep you regularly informed of competitor price movements within the marketplace and assist with your tactical pricing decisions. The methodology used to capture this information varies between supermarket chains and market regions depending on the accessibility to the nominated collection stores. Collections can focus on specific departments or a cross section of the whole supermarket range. The products surveyed can be a selection of key lines that are price checked every time, a rotational list that covers all products over X number of collections or a combination. The data collated can be simply the price one would pay at the time of the survey, or comprise of the standard shelf price, price per weight unit, special price, type of promotion, etc. For Fresh lines this might also include the product origin and quality rating.

Competitor Range Monitoring programs provide you with a snapshot of the products and services being offered by your competitors. These programs can focus on a particular category at one point in time or be conducted over a collection cycle targeting all lines on promotion during that period.

Stock Weight  & Out of Stock programs enable you to determine whether inventory issues are causing a loss of sales volume on particular lines and if so, which part/s of the supply chain process needs fine tuning. These surveys can cover the whole store or focus on specific lines or categories. Regularly monitoring 'gaps' found throughout a store will highlight whether there are issues with specific products, suppliers, distribution centres or store locations.

 

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Liquor Retail

The liquor retail industry is another highly competitive market where we have been able to provide effective information solutions to our clients.

Due to the type of stock these outlets carry, stores tend to be well staffed and highly security conscious. Some shops are also very small. All of which makes it a particularly challenging environment in which to obtain the required information. As a by-product of servicing this market over the years it has provided a good platform for Informed Sources to fine tune 'covert' data collection techniques.

The services our clients have found most useful in this industry are:

  • PriceWatch Liquor programs will provide you with comprehensive, accurate and quality pricing information from specific competitor stores (or store groups) at a timely frequency.
  • Competitor Range Monitoring programs provide you with a snapshot of the products being offered by your competitors. These programs can focus on a particular category at one point in time or be conducted over a collection cycle targeting all lines one section at a time.
  • Promotional Compliance programs allow you to measure the level of compliance achieved for each scheduled promotion within each shop. They highlight areas that may be impacting the overall success of each campaign, be it supply issues (of product or marketing materials), signage placement or product knowledge of staff/agent, to name a few.
  • Stock Weight & Out of Stock programs enable you to determine whether inventory issues are causing a loss of sales volume on particular lines and if so, which part/s of the supply chain process needs fine tuning. These surveys can cover the whole store or focus on specific lines or categories. Regularly monitoring 'gaps' found throughout a store will highlight whether there are issues with specific products, suppliers, distribution centres or store locations.
  • Mystery Shop programs are custom designed with each client to highlight key aspects of the customer experience. The surveys are concise and tend to target core areas of staff presentation, manner, selling skills and level of service.
  • Facility Audit programs measure the presentation of your stores against a predefined list of 'company standards'. These surveys are generally conducted overtly and tend to focus on key presentation elements such as lighting, cleanliness, signage, health and safety requirements and even compliance to local government legislation.

 

For more information on how we can help you >> Contact Us

Specialty Retail

Informed Sources defines the specialty retail sector as business groups whose core product offer revolves around a central product, service, or theme. However, with the big box format becoming more prevalent for some of these retailers (eg hardware) they are probably more suited to a department/variety store classification.

Key benefits of outsourcing data capture to Informed Sources:

  • Free-up key personnel
  • Ensure consistent data collection practices
  • Fast and efficient turnaround of data - published in a range of user friendly formats
  • Independent and unbiased collection of data - which can add weight to supplier negotiations, staff performance management and proving compliance to government regulations
  • Tailor-made service programs that focus on your key concerns
  • Secure data storage

Some of the specialty retail groups we work with are:

Hardware - To date our hardware clients have required us to provide solutions that primarily focus on competitor price checking, product range differentiation and out of stock monitoring

Pharmaceutical - Pharmaceutical retailers tend also to focus on competitor pricing activities, however they are also keen to understand the in-store experience of their customers by way of tailor-made mystery shop programs

Telecommunications - Telecommunication providers have sought to understand the prices, package offers and promotional campaigns of their competitors

LPG leisure cylinders & domestic supply - Energy providers seek to discern the price position and special deals offered by their competitors

Tyre & automotive - Learning the price of tyre supply and service packages offered by key competitors remain the focal point of tyre and automotive specialty retailers

 

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