AB-InBev tries "Digital Merchandising"


MOSCOW: Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer, is testing a new approach to "digital merchandising" that could boost its effectiveness at the point of sale.

The company has allied with Accenture, the consultancy, on the programme, which aims to provide high-speed information concerning product placement and presence in stores.

Alongside reducing the number of occasions when its lines are out of stock, this effort seeks to ensure trading partners stick to their commitments, thus driving up sales in the aggregate.

One aspect of such a process is regularly taking digital pictures of goods, and prices, in stores, then monitoring data to assess stock levels and retailer compliance, measured against key benchmarks.

By accelerating the acquisition of crucial insights, and combining qualitative and quantitative updates, Anheuser-Busch InBev hopes to rapidly respond to any major changes.

Initially, this platform is being rolled out in 55 outlets in Russia, before a decision is made as to whether it should be applied more broadly.

"This pilot will help AB InBev to better understand how we can use digital merchandising techniques to enhance our performance at the shelf," said Felipe Franco, AB InBev's vp, information and business services.

Accenture offices in Moscow, Milan and Bangalore will all play a role in implementing the initiative. Marco Spaziani Testa, who leads its consumer goods and services practice in Central and Eastern Europe, added.

"AB InBev has identified digital merchandising as an area where it can create improved efficiency, enhanced data and, therefore, increased sales," he said.

"This pilot is an example of AB InBev's keen focus on innovation in order to deliver an improved service to its customers and consumers."