Who Benefits Most From Kantar ShopperScape?
If you have worked in shopper insights, you have probably heard of Kantar ShopperScape. This product, available through Kantar’s RetailIQ page, offers shopper insights managers two things. First, they get access to Kantar’s own presentations that used ShopperScape data. Second, they get access to the full ShopperScape database. Although Kantar’s presentations are helpful, the real gem is access to the database.
Kantar ShopperScape: What is it?
On a monthly basis, Kantar conducts surveys of thousands of shoppers across the country. Many of the questions they ask are the same month to month. However, throughout the year they add seasonal and other relevant questions into the mix. You can even pay to have custom survey questions added in some months. Kantar delivers this data via several dashboards and through the Kantar ShopperScape database. I personally love getting into the Kantar ShopperScape database. Interestingly, after using the tool for several years, I’ve come to the conclusion that ShopperScape best serves smaller retailer vendor teams.
Kantar ShopperScape: The Paradox of Big Cost v. Little Businesses
Many CPG companies have dedicated, local sales teams to serve their largest retail customers. The largest of those sales teams (think Walmart, Kroger, Costco, etc.) are likely to have cross-functional roles supporting them as well. If market research is one of those functions, you can bet that what shopper insights budget is available goes to the shopper insights managers on those teams. As a result, those insights managers have a louder voice in which capabilities get adopted. Since Kantar ShopperScape is a self-service, always-on, repository of nationwide data, you can bet it is expensive. However, these well-funded customer teams are less likely to have a demand for a service like Kantar ShopperScape. Armed with the funding to do their own primary research, or their own retail-specific tools like 84.51, Kantar ShopperScape becomes just another tool in the shed for them.
In contrast, smaller sales teams (think regional grocers, DIY Channel, etc.), who have fewer resources, are exactly the teams who need Kantar ShopperScape. The insights managers on these teams are typically spread across multiple accounts. With all those accounts to manage, they rarely have capacity for primary research. Further, they are rarely given the same level of funding as the bigger sales teams. Their best option for research is often self-service portals for POS scanning data and Nielsen Panel — if their retailer is in Nielsen Panel. Imagine how thrilled these managers would be to have longitudinal survey data on their shoppers. Unfortunately, the rub is that these retail teams are least likely to be able to afford Kantar ShopperScape.
In conclusion, it is the small retail teams that can find the greatest benefit from Kantar ShopperScape. This is ironic because they are the retail teams least likely to have the resources to afford ShopperScape.
US retail continues to evolve with the entry of new players like Lidl, and the shift to online retailers like Amazon. Over the next few years, it is possible that large brick & mortar teams will not continue to be so well funded. Perhaps at that point the insights managers on the Kroger and Costco teams will be ready to listen to the sales pitch from Kantar their counterparts on HEB and Winco have been clamoring for.