Gigwalk on Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek wrote about what we call our Moneyball Engine earlier this week. Moneyball is the statistical algorithm for how we pair the best worker for the jobs or “Gigs” posted on Gigwalk - and yes, it was inspired by the book/movie of the same name. For those of you who are not familiar with Moneyball, the story goes like this:

The 2002 Oakland A’s were the third least funded team in Major League Baseball. They needed to figure out how to compete when they could not afford the most sought-after talent.

Traditionally, baseball players were recruited using stats such as RBI, stolen bases, and batting average. By applying mathematical models to player statistics however, The A’s management team learned that those factors are not the best predictor of offensive success for a player. The statistics that really mattered are actually on-base percentage and slugging percentage. So they used these statistics to recruit players for the 2002 season. 

The result? The Oakland A’s made it to the playoffs, and set a record for the largest winning streak in the American League in 2002. The Boston Red Sox followed suit the next year and took the pennant.

Here at Gigwalk, we believe that temporary workers can be hired using a similar model to what the A’s used in 2002. We aggregate billions of data points on each Gigwalker monthly via our Moneyball algorithm to figure out what skills really matter to successful completion of a Gig, and match workers who have demonstrated those skills to the right Gig. 

Read the Bloomberg article, or contact us to learn more.

Gigwalk CTO and Founder Matt Crampton on HuffPost Live’s Tech Game Changers

Matt was interviewed on HuffPost Live’s Tech Game Changers about Gigwalk, Gigwalkers, and the state of the job market. Click on the image below to watch the video!

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Influence $12 Billion Dollars in Consumer Spending

What if you could influence $12 billion dollars in consumer spending with something as simple as an in-store promotion.

According to the NRF, 41.4% of back to school shoppers are influenced by in-store promotions. So if each of those shoppers spends $688 (also according to the NRF), that’s over $12 billion dollars of back to school spending that’s been influenced by something as simple as an in-store promotion.

Not that back to school promotions are simple. For over a decade, back to school marketing campaigns have gotten more intricate, complicated and data-driven thanks to reporting that online and mobile technology has enabled. It doesn’t stop there.

Take Office depot – Their 2013 back-to-school promotion includes all the regular tactics - digital ads, website content, video, etc. They also took their campaign to another level, partnering with British boy band, One Direction to deliver a message against bullying and sponsoring their North American summer tour. Office Depot is also releasing a line of school supplies featuring One Direction with an anti-bullying messaging to bring their back to school campaign full circle.

As back to school campaigns get more robust, the in-store promotions that go with them get more and more important. With the right promotions, a back-to-school campaign gets the best chance to succeed. They connect the brand to the product at-retail, and give shoppers the right incentive to buy. In case you’re wondering, incentives are a necessity. According to Experian, back to school shoppers are still price sensitive due to economic uncertainty, and the NRF says 51.1% of shoppers are shopping for sales more often because of it.

 

Let’s say you did everything right. You launched a robust and engaging marketing campaign that gets the heart of what your target cares about, and what they love, made sure to hit all the right touch points throughout the season and get your customer in the store to buy your product.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Well, your product could be out of stock, or even worse, your product could be readily available, but nowhere to be found. Then there’s always the possibility that a retail associate put a competitor’s product in the back-to-school display you bought. There goes all the hard work, dollars and planning down the drain.

While there have been amazing advances in marketing technology, and though shoppers are starting to buy more of their products online, Brick and mortar stores are still where most back-to-school shopping happens. Only 40% of back to school shoppers plan to do any of their shopping online. Since price and promotions factor so much in back to school shopper’s decisions, can you afford to leave your in-store promotions to chance?

 

Request a demo and we’ll help you guarantee nothing gets in the way of your back to school campaigns and the sale.

Pencils, Books and… Shampoo?

This is the second in a 4-part series on back to school retail. Read part 1 here 

Back to school is usually dominated by school supplies, apparel, and shoes. However, even industries not usually associated with back to school can benefit from the second biggest spending season of the year for retail. Here’s why:

1.) Increased Retail Foot Traffic:

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Discount stores are well known for carrying pretty much everything. Need to get gardening supplies, a casserole dish, some new socks, and a 300 pack of mailing labels all in one day? Chances are shoppers won’t go to 4 different stores, when they can buy all of them in one place.  Is it any wonder that discount stores benefit the most from back to school shopping? Two out of three shoppers went to discount stores in 2012 for their back to school needs (more than any other type), so any product sold in the Walmarts and Targets of the world can benefit from the the back-to-school crowds.

2.) Extra Spending Power From Your Customers:

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From August 2-4th 11 different states are offering shoppers a tax free weekend on school supplies, clothing, computers, books, and even sports equipment. But that doesn’t mean other goods have to feel left out. According to research by The Washington Economics Group, sales of non-taxable goods at large retailers during Florida’s 2010 tax-free holiday increased by 35% when compared to the year before. This is a huge opportunity for other industries. Consumers have more money to spend because of sales tax holidays. Make sure your product is attracting the customer’s attention.

3.) Back to College:

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While the little ones head back to the classrooms, we can’t forget about the 17-23 year olds heading to college. In 2012, they spent 63% more than back to school shoppers, representing $53.5 Billion dollars of the back to school pie.  That’s $53.5 Billion dollars spent on things like extra-long twin-sized bed sheets, Easy Mac (the new Ramen Noodle), futons, televisions, and those little white boards that stick to the front of your door.  74% of college shoppers bought personal care items, 69% stocked up on food, 54% got electronics and 47% spent to furnish their dorm room.

So while we may be back to the season of pencils, books and teachers’ dirty looks, don’t forget that back to school can be a fruitful season for anyone. Do you work in housewares, consumer electronics, or inexpensive, microwavable pasta dishes? Treat this like you would any other season with increased sales, and make sure your retail execution is flawless

We can help with that – Request a demo to learn how

Who is Doing the Work on Gigwalk?

A couple of weeks ago, Fox in Atlanta featured Gigwalker John F., who took them around while he did a couple of Gigs. You can watch the video here.

If you’ve ever wondered who Gigwalkers are - He’s a great example of the hard-working, skilled and genuinely good people that are doing work on Gigwalk. 

Want to hire people like John to get work done? Contact us to sign up for a demo

What happens in Northwest Arkansas, stays in Northwest Arkansas… well not really

Bob and I spent most of last week in beautiful Bentonville, Arkansas. With a population of a little over 36,000 people, the tenth largest city in the state is best known as the home of Walmart. Our mission for this trip: to welcome aboard and train a new team member, meet with customers and partners, and for me to personally learn how this town fits into the inner-workings of the world’s largest retailer. I was mystified: how could this massive global entity run its operations from this place, which takes at least one if not two connections to get to by plane? I wanted to see first hand what it was like to do business in this environment, with its international powerhouse embedded in small town America.

Smallville meets Walmartlandia

Bentonville, Rogers, and Fayetteville form a triumvirate of modest cities, each with its own idyllic streets, green landscaping and friendly landmarks. Sam Walton’s original Five and Dime sits in the center of Bentonville town square. Who could have predicted that tidy little store with its bright red awnings would be the beginnings of a burgeoning multinational corporation that now has 2.2 million employees, nearly 11,000 retail locations worldwide and a $256 Bn+ market cap.

While touring around Bentonville, Walmart’s presence is palpable. Their  home office may look like a standard store location (or a high school), but don’t let its no nonsense appearance fool you. It’s clear Walmart is the focus of the local economy, and that its simple set up and surroundings help deliver on its “every day low prices”.


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Walmart Home Office kind of looks like my suburban high school

Buy local, sell global

Sometimes referred to as “Vendorville”, Bentonville features tastefully outfitted strip malls and short stack office parks full of F100 companies — brands you wouldn’t normally find on plaza marquee signage more suitable for your drycleaner, karate dojo, and favorite greasy spoon. Though not required to establish a local office, many top brands do. They recognize the convenience of doing business by strolling over to headquarters, and the value of not just meeting face to face but of building lasting relationships. Retail can be a family business, with multiple generations proudly participating. To be in with WMT and its ecosystem of suppliers, it truly helps to be local. Folks talk retail wherever you go, at Starbucks, on the golf course, and during their kids’ gymnastics practice and soccer games.

There’s no place like Art-kansas

Walmart also prevails upon the cultural scene. Designed by Moshe Safdie, Alice Walton’s $450M state-of-the-art Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art houses signature works of Americana, from Georgia O’Keefe to Norman Rockwell. Admission is free and sponsored by none other than Walmart. Institutions like Crystal Bridges have earned Bentonville the lofty status as one of Travel & Leisure’s Hottest Travel Destinations.

Bentonville’s first family also established the Walton Arts Center which happened to be featuring the The Price is Right Live! This touring production was quite the spectacle, especially when Bob was called on stage to name the price of a guitar.  

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Bob, our fearless CEO, live on The Price is Right!

Other notable institutions include the chic art gallery concept hotel 21c Bentonville, one of three national locations, and the incredible Donald W Reynolds Razorback Stadium, where the Razorbacks play. A structural monument in its own right, Reynolds Stadium sits amidst tidy treelined streets who bear witness to tens of thousands of enthusiastic fans screaming, “Go Hogs!”


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Outside 21c. This made me really want to play basketball.

Introducing Gigwalk’s newest team member: Luke

Back to business. The best part of our trip? Hands down, meeting with customers and spending quality time with our two dedicated team members who live there. Joe Tomandao took us to all these neat places, showing us the best of Northwest Arkansan hospitality while Luke Macken, our latest rockstar addition to Gigwalk Sales, got up to speed on how we apply Gigwalk to address our customer needs. Born and bred in Arkansas, Luke brings over twelve years of experience working with Walmart across categories. His shopper marketing, in-store events, and account management background means he can effectively walk and talk the Gigwalk with the brands and thoughtleaders we meet. It seems like everyone in “The Natural State” knows Luke, which isn’t a surprise given his warm smile and good natured approach to doing business.

All in all, we had a wonderful week plotting, planning, and advancing Gigwalk’s future. I may not be in Arkansas anymore, but I’m glad we have a great team out there to further grow our business and I can’t wait to go back. Next time, I’d like to visit the lake, see if I can find more "Walmart art" and try the fried chicken.

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Yours truly. Just couldn’t help myself at Kellogg’s local office.

p.s. by the way, if you’d like to join the team, Gigwalk is definitely hiring!

 

~Tanya Loh, Director of Customer and Business Development

New Features, New Faces, More Gigwalking at Retail

Did you know…

According to GMA estimates, 25% of out-of-stock items are actually in the store, just not in the right place?

3/4 of out of stocks are because of problems at the retail level? (Also from the GMA)

IHL Group estimates that inventory distortion (out of stocks and over stocks) cost retailers nearly $800 Billion globally every year.  


There are many different kinds of businesses that have benefited from deploying our workforce to get things done anywhere. When you look at the numbers, it’s clear the ones who need it most are the consumer goods and retail industries, and those numbers don’t even count things like poor customer service, display non-compliance and other errors at retail. 

As we scale, we continue to learn what the industry needs to collect data and perform work in stores with Gigwalk. Not only did we release great new features to help customers filter and analyze all the data Gigwalkers collect, but we’re also building an entire team dedicated to giving consumer goods and retail companies the best possible experience. 

Our New Features

Gigwalk is built to do more than just report back on the state of your retail execution. Our product can help you spot trends, and if you want, even fix problems on site so that you don’t miss a single day of sales. Some tasks are small, such as requiring a certain format of response from your Gigwalker. Others are huge - allowing you to see all your data in easy-to-read graphs, and filter them to spot trends as your data comes in.  Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to see why sales at a specific retailer are lower than at others. Once you go to the results section, you’ll see graphs of your results from all locations like this:

Then you can filter based on any number of variables to find out where the trouble might be. Here for example, we filtered to a particular retailer:

Gigwalk’s New Team

Did you know Gigwalk now has 2 new offices? In addition to our headquarters in San Francisco, we now have employees in Sarasota, Florida and Northwest Arkansas, and are hiring more people in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York!  This team is focused on making sure Gigwalk is as helpful as possible to people in the consumer goods and retail industries. Who better to lead this team than two industry vets?

Tom Dowdy is our General Manager of Retail and Brands.  He’s been in the CPG/Retail industry for over 25 years holding sales & marketing positions with Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and Combe Inc. Tom founded National In-Store in 1994 which became one of the top 5 retail service companies in the USA and was sold to Omnicom Group.

Joe Tomandao is our Vice President of National Brands. Joe was most recently at Field Agent, and has also worked at Driveline Merchandising, Promoworks, and ClickIQ. Joe’s our first employee in Northwest Arkansas and has been helping people in the retail and CPG industries for 10 years. 

We love hearing feedback from our customers about what we can do to help them have the best possible experience on Gigwalk.  If you ever want to give us feedback on the posting experience, or even just say hi, you can email us at mobilize@gigwalk.com, or to request a demo, enter your information here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Welcome to May? No… Welcome to summer!

It’s a sunny, 80 degree day here in San Francisco (not a common occurrence). It can only mean one thing. It must be May.

Summer doesn’t officially start for a couple of months, but so much about May reminds us of the summer season, from laying out in the sun to the start of the summer grilling season. 

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It’s also the start of summer season for consumer goods companies. Summer is a big time at retail for so many reasons. July 4th cook-outs mean burgers and hot dogs and all the things that go with it (anyone down for an ice cold beer?). There’s Mother’s and Father’s day. Skin care products are huge for the beach and pool crowd. We can’t forget graduation… and on the other end of summer - Back to school. There are a lot of industries that depend on the summer time to meet their annual sales goals.

That doesn’t mean that summer time has to be stressful.  That’s why we’re here.

Sales of your state of the art new sunscreen not up to snuff? Send Gigwalkers out to report back on why.  Here’s the kicker - have them fix the problem while they’re on-site, wherever you want, and on your schedule.

Have a delicious new condiment that will change the world of hamburgers, and need help figuring out the right packaging? Gigwalkers can interview customers while they’re shopping for ketchup or mustard AND hand out samples while they do it.

Need to check whether sales associates are recommending your headphones for graduation presents? Gigwalkers can mystery shop wherever in the country you need them to. 

Want to make sure a competitor isn’t undercutting your prices? We can send out Gigwalkers every month, week, day (or more) to monitor trends and stay ahead of the competition.

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Remember how much you used to look forward to summer vacation? Well, we can’t bring back 2 months off from school, but we can help you take a break from the stress of your retail execution. Get in touch and we’ll show you what we can do!

A Story About Shelf Space

We work with businesses of all sizes at Gigwalk. While all our customers have great stories, there are a few that stand out, especially when it comes to small and medium businesses. For the small consumer goods companies we work with, it’s often about the battle for shelf space in stores.

It’s hard enough for them to get their product into stores when they don’t have a famous brand name behind them. Once they’re in, the product has to sell enough to keep the shelf space they have (and ideally, get more). The problem is, there’s a lot that can go wrong at retail that’s out of their hands. Maybe their product is in the wrong place, or store associates aren’t re-stocking the shelves. In fact, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) estimates that 25% of the time a  product is out of stock on the shelf or display, the item is actually in the store somewhere.

Oasis Consumer Healthcare is a company owned by doctors, dentists and scientists. One of their products is Halo, an oral antiseptic that helps protect against airborne illness. They learned that sales in 10% of its stores were down across a major retail chain in some parts of the country, but they were strong everywhere else. With only 5 weeks left in a 12-week test-run, they had to do something fast, or risk losing the shelf space they fought so hard to get. So they decided to use Gigwalk to find out what was going on.

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Here’s our favorite part of this story: For the price of a smartphone, they received 300 photos and 450 data points that helped them find out exactly where there were problems at retail, fix them, and ensure their product launch was a success. We love it because their story isn’t just about a mobile app. It’s about what you can do when there are hundreds of thousands of people available on-demand to show you exactly what your product looks like in stores at a moment’s notice.

Want to learn more about the Oasis Consumer Healthcare story? Download the case study. 

Is the PC Dying?

Last week there was some pretty grim stats released on PC sales. According to International Data Corp (IDC), PC sales dropped 14% - The largest drop since they started keeping records of it in 1994, and the 4th consecutive quarter of year-over-year drops. 

We’ve known for a while now that mobile devices are a huge reason for the drop in sales of PCs. Last week, Gigwalk co-founder Matt Crampton spoke to CCTV about the effect of mobile devices on PC sales. 

Watch Matt’s take on PC’s recent sales stats

Business sales may be the PC industry’s only saving grace – for now. Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner says, “Unlike the consumer PC segment, the professional PC market, which accounts for about half of overall PC shipments, has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. Despite the fact that some regions already passed the peak of PC refresh, overall professional PC demand continued to grow.”

However, even businesses are quickly learning the benefits to arming their employees with mobile phones. Gigwalk is a perfect example. Businesses can quickly hire thousands of temporary workers at one time, all through the worker’s smartphone. The worker can do all the work through their phone and submit it instantly. Businesses are loving this because not only is the process of hiring faster, but they are getting the work submitted faster, and they get geo-tagged validation that work was done in the right place, with time verification that it was done at the right time. All of these are possible because of features inherent to mobile devices, and it’s making their businesses more efficient.

What’s your company’s policy on mobile devices? Do you get one just for phone calls and emails, or has it become an essential part of your everyday responsibilities? Do you have a BYOD policy, or do you get a company issued phone, and if so what kind? Let us know in the comments!