Mobile apps and Web technology are making many daily tasks, such as grocery shopping, easier for consumers. Online shopping databases can help consumers find the best retail deals for products on their shopping lists, while store-specific mobile apps can help them to plan their shopping trips and watch for sales at their favorite stores. Whole Foods Market, Jewel-Osco, Aldi, 7-Eleven, Target and other retailers offer mobile apps that allow consumers to view product offerings, receive weekly sales ads, redeem coupons, and even build shopping lists based on recipes. These resources, in combination with data captured through social media and loyalty card programs, can aid in retailers’ and manufacturers’ efforts to optimize shopper satisfaction through category management.
From these digital sources, more than 2.5 quintillion bits of new data are created and stored every day by the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market alone, according to the Wimberley, Texas-based Category Management Association’s 2013 report “Three Trends Changing the FMCG Ecosystem.” Consumer packaged goods companies and retailers need to find ways to organize this “big data” around product categories in order to discover unmet needs in the marketplace, the emotional factors driving shopper needs, where key communication touch points should be located, and what benefits marketers need to offer in order to clinch the sale, according to the Category Management Association’s report “Category Management Mastery: The key to growth!”.