Dutch information technology company, Roamler, has been offering a service to retailers and trading companies for years now. They provide these businesses with detailed information and photos. Roamler does this using a smartphone community.
In this way, growers, exporter, and retailers are kept directly in the loop. They can see which fruit and vegetable products were delivered to which supermarket. They can also see at what price these products were sold.
Hard discounters have always been this data-gathering method's blind spot. For this reason, Roamler started a service for these stores. This service is available to this sector in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Roamler visits these stores every week.
"On the one hand, the fresh category in the retail sector is growing. But it is also changing quickly. This is why growers and growers' associations are given new roles," says Roamlers' Christiaan Rijnhout.
"It is an expensive exercise if you want to be checking prices and promotions constantly. By sharing the costs, the participants get continual insight into the discounters market. We are focussing on discounters. The other retailers' information is already available elsewhere."
"In this manner, we can offer easy access to this subscription model to many parties. There is hardly any information available about hard discounters. This makes monitoring them a complex task. This monitor gives a unique view of how these retailers work," Christiaan explains.
"This data can directly help players, commercially, in the fruit and vegetable sector. It can help with their sales strategies. They can pick up on simple trends in, for example, prices and promotions."
"The Roamler mobile crowd numbers more than 600,000 people. These people can check the most important fruit and vegetable products at the largest European hard discounters every week. We offer participants detailed reports about units, prices, and promotions. These reports include images of each product's price label and country of origin," continues Christiaan.
"We do fieldwork on a Tuesday. Participants get a complete, detailed report in their mailbox that same day. They can then use the data for negotiations in that same week. We offer this service in a subscription format. Subscriptions vary from six months to several years, at a fixed amount per month."
"Enough information can be extracted from this date for marketing too. Thanks to our data and images, businesses get a much better picture of local sales. They also have a much better idea of who you are competing against in negotiations," says Christiaan.
"We are starting in the four countries mentioned. We, as Roamler, are, however, already active in more than 20 countries. If this module is a success, it will be easy enough for us to expand to other sales markets. These are markets such as France and Norway."
"After all, in the end, we offer feedback in a single, convenient online dashboard. Participants can get started with it right away," Christiaan concludes.