UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, GoSpotCheck has pivoted to become a data collection tool for retailers.
There’s a battle going on inside of your supermarket. It’s a battle where brands are fighting for position, clawing their way to the ideal shelf spot. Along the way, these brands are missing out on valuable information that they could use to find out how to better market themselves.
GoSpotCheck is taking a unique approach toward helping brands and helping consumers in the process. When a brand signs up to work with GoSpotCheck, their items will be checked for placement, pricing and a myriad of other important factors. How so? Because consumers will take a picture of the product and that information will be relayed to the brand in real time.
I know what you’re saying – “yeah right. Like a consumer is going to bother taking the picture. GoSpotCheck would have to pay me.” Oh, but that’s just it — they are.
GoSpotCheck is crowdsourcing done right. By putting cash into the hands of the consumers, the company is providing just the right incentive to get the crowd to do the work for them. As CEO Matt Talbot says:
“We’re leveraging them where they already are. You can perform 10 or 12 missions for brands and pick up an extra thirty bucks while you’re on your shopping trip. We’re not asking you to change your behavior. You’re already doing these things, so why not pick up a couple extra dollars?”
GoSpotCheck is coming out of the powerhouse Boulder TechStars program, with demo day happening on August 4th. It’s then that the company will be pitching investors to close a round of funding and push the business forward. For now, the team of 4 has been focusing on stores that are local to the Denver and Boulder areas, as well as the popular natural and organic food brands that originate in the area.
“Different brands will exhibit different needs depending on their size,” says Talbot. He states that a smaller brand might only need information about shelf positioning while larger brands could be focused on a consumer promotion. It’s with this in mind that GoSpotCheck has created a self-service platform that any brand can use.
Brands can sign up on the site and say that they want to check the 10 Whole Foods stores in the Denver area, setting a maximum budget of $200. As the brand finds more information and it becomes more valuable to them, that investment can be scaled seamlessly into something that the brand will use regularly.
Talbot says that the biggest challenge, thus far, has been one of managing data in a responsible way. In view of that, the company has been in a stealth beta for a number of months, making certain that the app can connect the right products with the right consumers. As time moves on, that mass data collection will be able to be sold to the parties who investigate trends in consumer behavior, among others.
Following the release this Thursday, the team will be working on building out in the Denver and Boulder regions, then moving to other markets. Over a six-month period, GoSpotCheck hopes to build up its engineering and sales teams, as well as moving into other platforms. The app is iOS-only, for now, but Talbot tells me that an Android version will be coming in the next “handful of months.”
GoSpotCheck is doing a couple of things very right. By providing valuable information to brands, it’s giving them data that would often take months to find, previously. By paying consumers to do what they’re already doing, it’s crowdsourcing a workforce that it would normally take ages to compile. In short, don’t be surprised if you start seeing a whole lot more photography happening at your local grocery store.