Real-time shopper, consumer insights for ready business

The value of consumer purchase data. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The value of consumer purchase data. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Opportunities abound around us and because I still get the occasional email from budding entrepreneurs asking where to play, I will take time to highlight some opportunities.

The disclaimer is of course that ideas are not mutually exclusive and solid execution is key to the realisation of any value. Today I highlight the troubled retail sector, with a focus on the supply side.

Our retail outlets are supplied by more or less the same producer and manufacturer base. Yet for many of these suppliers, the end consumer remains identified as a stock keeping unit.

Getting additional data from their brick and mortar partners beyond number of units sold can be difficult or expensive.

Not all suppliers are aware of a different way to do business and also rarely do retailers open up their CRM’s for the benefit of their supplier partners.

There lies a big opportunity in collection of consumer purchase data real-time without stifling and probably hard-to-close direct deals with various retailers or reliance on commissioned research.

If you can crack this at scale, you would be well positioned to package this data to a low estimate of 10,000 regular suppliers to traditional brick and mortar retailers and an additional base who would love to tap into the same insights.

You can also transform merchandising as we know it delivering value to the end customer, with value adds such as group buying and discounts where margin savings from advertising and retailers cut are passed on.

There are a number of mobile back-end as a service provider with turnkey offerings that can shorten your development cycle, cosmetics aside.

Firebase, a mobile and web application development environment and the cloud platform from the Google stable and Amazon Web Services come recommended.

For the African market, you would not be faulted for going Android on your first build.

Commerce is going mobile and with smart application of machine learning and artificial intelligence riding off the data you are aggregating and processing, you could easily be the heartbeat of the marketplace, being a true connector of producer and consumer.

A position that can be monetized in several ways.