Today, San Francisco-based Quri, a secret shopper platform that pays consumers to perform “shifts” of work that range from snapping a few photos to answering questions about in-store details, announced the launch of QCard, a real-time product measurement service. The startup’s on-demand labor force reaches over 150,000 retail locations across 5,000 cities in the U.S., who use its EasyShift iOS app to collect data for CPG brands like Tyson, Nestle, and Dannon, among other customers.
“Our vision is to really leverage the power of crowdsourcing to collect, organize, and activate the world’s retail store data…at the shelf, SKU, product level. What we do today is help the world’s largest consumer goods manufacturers with on-demand, instant visibility, actually seeing the in-store condition of their products and promotions nation-wide,” said CEO Justin Behar in an interview with BetaKit. “QCard is a result of a collaboration with a number of customers to build the next version of our service which is a real-time in-store product measurement service.”
Prior to QCard, the startup offered only on-demand services, so one of its secret shoppers would go into a store at a particular time and location to collect info on stock levels, pricing, shelf-placement, competitor comparison, and in-store placement and promotion. Now with QCard, brands are able to set-up an ongoing service focused exclusively on monitoring their products in-store. They can now sign up for an annual subscription and choose which regions and at what frequency they prefer to have data and images collected, which is then placed into a dashboard to help them with items like identifying key trends, pricing anomalies and how their pricing stacks up against competitors, among other key metrics.
“Our existing service has been an on-demand transactional service, a customer comes to us and says we have a problem with or we’re introducing a new product, can you send people in the stores at this time to check-up on it, “ Behar added. “With QCard we’ve done a lot of work specifically around what’s happening with their product on-shelf. The insight for us is creating value through creating a standard set of metrics…to do things in specific frequencies, in specific stores.”
On the secret shopper front, consumers can download the EasyShift app on their iPhone and after signing up it picks on their location, assigning them shifts which they can reserve. They’re often allotted 48 hours to complete the job, and can earn anywhere from $3-40 per shift, in addition to points that gamify the experience through an in-app leaderboard. Based on their performance, they are then able to make multiple reservations, with most shifts being something that can be completed during a regular grocery shopping trip.
Similar to Quri, BetaKit previously covered the launch of GoSpotCheck’s platform which initially started off with the crowdsourcing approach, but shifted to an enterprise-focused service helping multi-unit restaurants and CPG brands have better on-the-ground information from their staff regarding new product launches and existing initiatives. Behar noted that the company also faces direct competition from traditional players like Acosta or Nielsen.
Behar also added that the startup will look to launch an Android app later this year and continue making its dashboard for the brands it works with as intuitive as possible so that the insights are both clear and actionable. Given that brands are always on the lookout to see how far their marketing dollars go, Quri’s solution has been able to entice both end consumers with the rewards and points it offers, as well as brands. With the launch of QCard it looks to provide continued in-store intelligence for brands to help them get better ROI on their in-store marketing spend; whether that intelligence can make an impact on a retailer’s bottom line is another question.
Read more about growing startups in our Growth section.