Crowdsourcing can enable retailers to scale more quickly
Retailers are seeing an increasing expectation from their customers for personalization, and that leads to a greater need to get data directly from them. Here’s where crowdsourcing may come in.
Crowdsourcing is the act of getting ideas, services or marketing materials by surveying a physical or digital community –– and it promises to enable retailers to make better business decisions in less time.
“Many large organizations are too slow and speed is what really matters in this digital economy,” Epi Ludvikj Nekaj, founder and CEO of Crowdsourcing Week, told Entrepreneur. “Innovation should not be treated as a separate, isolated department. Today you need to pioneer your innovation journey. Crowdsourcing accelerates this process and can get you up to speed quickly.”
Yet, there are more benefits to crowdsourcing than simply shortening response times. Sourcing Journal cited a recent MakerSights report, which found 66 percent of people want a say in how their products get made. Seventy-five percent said that being involved in the creation process would change who they buy from and increase their brand loyalty.
Advocates maintain that giving customers a say in how products are made can reap large dividends for retailers over time and that crowdsourcing could revolutionize many aspects of the industry –– from retail real estate to product sourcing to home delivery.
“Instead of assuming a market would respond well to a new grocery store, we can ask thousands of people in that market if they would shop at a new grocery store,” Benjamin Cohen, Space Jam Data’s co-founder, told Bisnow. “Aside from traditional surveying, there’s never been a way to do that before at scale.”
Crowdsourcing platforms enable retailers to quickly gather customer data through social media surveys, as well as paid survey sites such as SwagBucks. Since the surveys are largely operated online, retailers can easily gather real-time data insights and put them to work.
“The future is human-centric,” said Mr. Nekaj. “It’s all about participation and the ability to co-create via an increasingly connected world. This new way of doing things (crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, co-creation, collaboration and open innovation) is challenging established business models and how companies work across the board.”
- 66 Percent of People Want a Say in How Products Get Made – Sourcing Journal
- Why Crowdsourcing Could Be Retail’s New Best Friend – Bisnow
- How Crowdsourcing is Shaping the Future of Everything – Entrepreneur
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the best crowdsourcing use cases for retailers looking to grow their businesses? What are some obstacles to crowdsourcing for retailers?