Is your Category Management Strategy validated through Shopper Eye Tracking?

Is your Category Management Strategy validated through Shopper Eye Tracking?

Is your Category Management Strategy validated through Shopper Eye Tracking?

Portfolio, mix, layout, facings, eye levels etc. are just some of the ingredients towards the outputs for a robust Category Management Strategy. What informs your decision when making/proposing key decisions on the Category such as below?

  1. What stays, what goes out in listings?
  2. Which SKU to be positioned at what location?
  3. Increasing, reducing, adding or deleting listings and/or facings
  4. Hotstops for incremental POP activation


Do you rely just on historical secondary sales data? or does the panel data also form part of the decision-making process? For our fellow Industry colleagues in developed nations, the menu of data available could be huge while for our colleagues in developing nations and nations having a much wider mix of organised and fragmented trade the realities on data availability could be very different.

In either scenario use of Eye Tracking technology provides a wealth of robust Shopper insight data to inform the Category strategy. Eye Tracking captures and maps real-time eye movements of a Shopper while he is interacting with the category using state of the art technology. Eye Tracking can be enabled in any layout, any type of Retail environment( offline and online) and captures real-time how a Shopper is considering the category. Some key insight nuggets you can hope to achieve from an Eye Tracking exercise are:

  1. How does the Shopper navigate the Category?
  2. Which SKUs/category areas catch his attention more than others
  3. When considering an SKU, which part of the packaging captures bigger attention and where is it that he might be seeking better clarity
  4. Where in the category does he spend more or less of his time
  5. What factors in the category are potentially helping convert a consideration into purchase


Above and many more nuggets help with a wealth of information to generate shopper insight thereby helping inform the decisions/proposals on Category Strategy supported by robust Data. These Eye Tracking exercises generate both qualitative and quantitative data which can be structured/analysed to provide consolidated shopper insights on defined criteria. You can get an average view on how a group of Shoppers behaved with a category and within that with brands and SKUs. You can also get detailed precise data on interaction at a Category, sub-category, brand, brand extension, SKU or any other level classified at different levels of a Shopper or Category hierarchy.

Eye-tracking reveals strong Category dynamics at the Point of Purchase and should be a key part of any Category Strategy formulation


Team Asbicon

Asbicon provides Eye Tracking services either stand-alone or as part of a total Category Management Strategy formulation package as per client needs. In UK, Dubai and India where Asbicon has its own Research presence, Eye Tracking services can be organised at relatively short notices.


(Asbicon is a Consumer Goods & Services specialist firm focused on “Growth Solutions for Aspiring Brands”. Asbicon enables this through its 5 verticals of Research, Assisted Advisory®, Capability Development, Data Services & Design services providing Retail & Distribution effectiveness to its clients)

One stop provision for Insight to Execution Growth solutions

Asbicon launches an updated News section on its Website

We are pleased to share the updated News section of our website. This is our platform to share our world with you and also to bring related News and Events from the Consumer Goods and Services spectrum to our readers.

We will look forward to your regular visit


Team Asbicon


Asbicon’s “GAIN and WIN” framework granted TradeMark in Europe

We are pleased to share that Asbicon’s proprietary framework “GAIN and WIN” to support structured and progressive Growth for Consumer Goods and Services organisations has now also been granted a TradeMark in Europe.

Asbicon - Veedol

Veedol launches digitally enabled B2B Loyalty Program powered by Asbicon in Saudi Arabia

Asbicon is proud to have powered the launch of first of it’s kind B2B loyalty program for Dealers, Mechanics & Puncture shops for Veedol in Saudi Arabia. The “First Choice” loyalty program was developed by Asbicon on a Turnkey basis.This included:

  • Conceptualisation of the Loyalty Program – Led by the Assisted Advisory® vertical of Asbicon
  • In Market Research in Saudi Arabia- led by Asbicon’s Research vertical
  • Mobile App Design including technology & creative design- led by Asbicon’s Dezign Services vertical
  • Collaterals design to support First Choice program launch and ongoing communication including dedicated website design of “” and all Below the line communication material- Led by Asbicon’s Dezign Services vertical
  • Orientation and on boarding of Veedol & Distributor Resources & In Market End users on the First Choice Program and Mobile App usage- Led by Asbicon’s Capability Development vertical.

Please click on the below image for the Launch video:


The passion & dedication of Veedol’s Middle East & Global teams to make this a success was a huge contributing factor to an outstanding development and launch of the “First Choice” program. This is the first of its kind digitally enabled B2B loyalty program where Dealers, Mechanics & Puncture shop owners can earn loyalty points upon Veedol Product’s purchase and redeem them through the Mobile App itself for amazing rewards. The App also contains product information on most of Veedol’s Automotive lubricant products. It makes the experience seamless for the End User.




The conceptualisation, development, launch and support of Veedol’s “First Choice” Program is a classical example of how Asbicon provides “Growth Solutions for Aspiring Brands”. Asbicon enables this through its 5 verticals of Research, Assisted Advisory®, Capability Development, Data services & Dezign Services.


One stop provision for Insight to Execution Growth solutions

We wish Veedol many such successful launches in many markets.



Team Asbicon


To know more about Asbicon’s offers please contact on or submit a query on

How to win with connected devices@Point of Purchase

How to win with connected devices@Point of Purchase

With Connected devices projected to grow from circa 9 billion in 2012 to anywhere between 30 and more than 100 billion in 2020, it is no surprise that for the past few years we have seen amazing introductions into the Connected devices /Internet of Things space. Whether it is connected wearables such as smart watches, connected home utilities, new ventures into connected clothing sharing muscle movements, connected health with potential for vital health stats to be shared across the healthcare provision space or our refrigerators monitoring state of food, the potential is astounding (one of the projections shared below).


Focusing on the B2C space, which is the focus of this article the potential runs into billions of dollars for companies to target.



As far as the consumers of connected devices are concerned, there is a lot of thought capital going into the right strategies for identifying and meeting consumer needs such as:

  1. How to ensure Noise vs Value in the ever crowding connected space
  2. Targeting of specific functional messages vs whatever the wealth of data through connected can produce
  3. “Power of Nudge” vs Push to ensure action
  4. How to ensure ongoing engagement with the product vs the reduction to around 50% or less consumers engaging with the product after the initial ownership love has subsided

However, in this article we wish to focus more on the Shopper rather than the Consumer ( Shopper could be the Consumer or could be different from the Consumer). With billions at play, it is extremely important to observe and identify potential difference in Shopper behaviour and the resulting interventions an organisation might need to activate to ensure it wins with the Shopper at the Point of Purchase. Reminding ourselves of the historical Path to Purchase, a shopper goes through the journey of being aware of a product and service, understands and believes in the proposition and then goes through the journey of finding the product at the “First Moment of Truth” at the Point of Purchase, buying it and then going through the usage experience.


However, if we look at the Path to Purchase of a Connected devices Shopper, although there are a lot of of similarities with the historical Path to Purchase but there are some distinct differences as well. The key one being the need to “Believe” again in the product proposition at the Point of Purchase i.e. a more detailed understanding of features and benefits even if he has gone through that understanding higher up the journey. Therefore, in a way the “Believe” stage in a Shopper’s journey occurs twice. Also, there is an extra step added towards the end of the Journey i.e. “Recommend”. In historical Path to Purchase, the journey ends at “Prefer”, where a shopper might share his preference via reviews etc. However in the Path to Purchase of a connected shopper “Recommend” gets added to the journey as the connected device is an extension of his connected world and being novel/new lends itself to higher potential for recommendation.

Key differences highlighted below:


The Path to purchase highlighted is true for both both offline and online channels. while in a Retail store environment the focus on second “Believe” could take the shape of better info on shelf/demo etc, in an online environment it could be similar to better A+ content .


Having had a view on a Shopper’s path to purchase in a connected devices world, it is also important to ensure all potential Shoppers across all potential Channels and Customers are targeted and value realised for the organisation across the value chain. Asbicon’s proprietary methodology ” GAIN & WIN” provides that platform to an organisation to approach this in a structured way:


Let us assume that a Company A is launching a connected device in the Health care space. The first focus it needs to have is to “Get new customers” to list its new connected product (Customer here refers to an entity that sells a Company’s products to Shoppers. Walmart, Tesco, Amazon, Carrefour, 7-11, Big Bazaar etc are examples of customers). It might be that Company A needs to look for totally new customers or it could also be that it has been dealing with a particular customer in other categories before but with regards to this new category on this specific connected product, it will be a new customer.


The “G” stage in Asbicon’s “GAIN & WIN” methodology provides for this focus to “Get New Customers”. It starts with a sub- stage 1 of “Channel, Customer & Consumer landscape mapping” which allows for understanding the potential Channels and Customers that could be planned for/targeted. Again, it could be new Channels or the Channels Company A is already operating in. In the case of a connected health device that Company A is looking to launch, it might be that it identifies new channels such as GP surgeries in UK, Private Doctor practices in India or pharmacy chains in South East Asia as new channels. Likewise, assuming that Company A has other basics in place for Selling & Distribution capability & Management,  other sub-stages of the primary “G” stage which are relevant will play a role towards the objective to “Get new Customers” and subsequently sub-stages within the other 3 primary stages of “A-Augment Customer Spend”, “I-Increase Frequency of Purchase” & ” N-Nurture & Grow profits” which can be instrumental towards a successful launch of this connected health device will play their respective roles. These are summarised below:

“G- Get New Customers”

  1. Channel Customer & Consumer Landscape Mapping
  2. Understanding the Customer, Shopper & Consumer
  3. Structured Selling framework

“A- Augment Customer Spend”- Focusing on increasing Shopper spend with the Customer, leading to increase in Customer’s spend with Company A

  1. Understanding the role of Point of Purchase drivers
  2. Executing Point of Purchase drivers with success

“I- Increase Frequency of Purchase”- Focusing on increasing Shopper’s purchase frequency with the Customer and thereby leading to increase in Customer’s purchase frequency with Company A

  1. Basic Category Management
  2. Shopper Marketing at Point of Purchase
  3. Role of Promotions
  4. Loyalty Management

“Nurture & Grow Profits”- Through better value chain Management

  1. Portfolio & Mix Management
  2. Advanced Category Management
  3. Trade Investment Management
  4. Role of Right Analytics

Above assumes that basics of Selling capability & Management are in place. In case, a refresh might be necessary on those, there are other sub-stages that can be activated.


It is clear that potential with connected devices for consumers is huge. An understanding of key differences in shopper behaviour in this category vs other categories and a structured approach towards making this category a sustainable and scalable success could be a huge opportunity for creating and realising value.

Team Asbicon

(Asbicon is a Consumer Goods & Services specialist firm focused on “Growth Solutions for Aspiring Brands”. Asbicon enables this through its 5 verticals of Research, Assisted Advisory®, Capability Development, Data services & Design services providing Retail & Distribution effectiveness to its clients)

One stop provision for Insight to Execution Growth solutions

One stop provision for Insight to Execution Growth solutions

One stop provision for Insight to Execution Growth solutions

Asbicon is proud to have been a partner of choice for Consumer Goods and Services clients in more than 50 countries supporting Growth through Insight all the way to Execution. Unlike other agencies which support bits and pieces of the requirements, Asbicon meets most of the client needs through in house capability & infrastructure on its five verticals of Research, Assisted Advisory®, Capability Development, Data Services & Dezign Services.

Whether it is Quantitative or Qualitative Research you need to undertake or you are just looking for trends, maybe you need a structured guidance on Route to Market options, maybe it is a strategy on winning with Shoppers that you are looking for support on or potentially capability development of your sales force, maybe insight through data is your current need or you need to develop campaign designs for an in store execution, Asbicon can support you on all such requirements and with most Asbiconians being Consumer Goods & Services veterans can help provide that sector specific flavour as well.

Having an in house end to end solution enabled through efficient cost bases in India and a strong physical presence with Subject Matter experts in Europe, Middle East, Americas & India allows Asbicon to provide Growth Solutions to Aspiring Brands in a flexible and affordable way. This eco system also enables Asbicon’s clients to focus not only on domestic markets but also supports expansion/effectiveness in International markets. Asbicon prides itself on its nimbleness and ability to respond to client requests extremely quickly.

Success of our clients is our passion and we are guided not limited by Project briefs.

For more information on how we have enabled Growth for our clients and more details on our offer, please visit you can also reach us on

One stop provision for Insight to Execution Growth solutions

Shopper Marketing

Is it Trade Marketing, Customer Marketing, Shopper Marketing or something else?

Is it Trade Marketing, Customer Marketing, Shopper Marketing or something else?

When I started my career more than 2 decades ago, one of the job titles I was given was ” Marketing Executive” and what I really did was sell to Mom & Pop stores and not even once did spend any time designing a brand campaign or a promotion, just executed the standard Trade schemes of 10+1 or 12+1 etc. It is not that the organisation wanted to give me a fancy Marketing Title, there just was no difference in understanding between Marketing & Sales, they were synonymous with each other. Even today, in many emerging markets you might see a similar thing although in my second stint in Asia from 2011-2014, have seen much better distinction between the two. As my career progressed and I moved to Europe at the start of the century, I saw much clearer focus at least with respect to the Sales function although we were  not called Sales Managers or Executives, at Procter & Gamble, we were called Customer Business Development( CBD) Managers. The rationale the organisation gave was that we can only be successful if our Customers are successful and our key role was to ensure that we are able to develop the Customer’s business hence ” Customer Business Development” Manager. This was beautiful, made perfect sense, gave the right motivations, encouragement and instilled the right passion. Brand Marketing similarly had the right structure and definition. It was therefore clear that having right distinction of functions/roles based on responsibilities and objectives is critical for right efficiencies and effectiveness.

Being thought process pioneers is what P&G does very well and a good example of that was the introduction of a new function called “Market Strategy & Planning” (MS&P). Although MS&P function had existed in previous avatars as well, but the introduction of this new title had much more focus behind it and MS&P played a “Tactically Strategic” role. They were the go betweens between CBD & Marketing, were focused on Market strategies in relation to Channels & Customers with a slightly more near term view, 1-2 years. So the reason I call it “Tactically Strategic” is due to the fact that unlike more upstream strategic thinking by Brand Marketing & Design teams maybe 3-5 years out MS&Ps were tasked with thinking short term strategic and bringing both brand & commercial plans alive. They worked with the CBD folks,Finance, Demand Management( Some cases supply also),Brand Marketing teams and also Marketing teams focused on a particular Customer e.g. the Tesco or the Asda’s of this world as part of the multi-functional Customer teams. Their key objective was to make portfolio & initiatives including promo plans relevant for Channels & Customers thus ensuring the right return. Yours truly was one such MS&P and was lucky enough to experience that amazing role.

Almost a decade ago now, when I transitioned into the world of Consulting( we  call it Assisted Advisory® now as we feel that unless we assist our clients with getting the results through the advice we provide, it is of no real benefit to them and Consulting feels more one sided), I found a maze of views w.r.t this function, similar to a P&G MS&P which organisations were trying to replicate/refine. Trade Marketing, Customer Marketing, Shopper Marketing, Initiative Management, Innovation Management, Commercial Strategy, Trade Shopper, Trade Customer Marketing etc to name a few. In many cases, this specific function did not even exist and the responsibilities were bolted on to either the Sales or Marketing functions. It is not that the way the teams were structured or called or the way responsibilities were defined were not helpful to the particular organisation, in my view the confusion or maybe the potential for better clarity with regards to this function could have helped an organisation with more efficient and effective results.

The need for such a function arose because with increasing complexities and competition in the Retail landscape where Sales and Marketing functions needed to have pure focus on their responsibilities of getting numbers and building brands respectively, a role was required which could connect both Sales & Marketing with a view of winning with Channels & Customers. The responsibilities of this role included making portfolio & initiatives( classification of initiatives is a whole new subject and will share thoughts on that soon) relevant for Channels and Customers and hence the terms Trade Marketing & Customer Marketing came into play. The concepts such as First Moment of Truth, Category Management etc. arose which would help with making Portfolios relevant and effective and as these were built with the Shopper in mind, the concept of Shopper Marketing arose. In the effort to make such a function relevant in an organisation, based on the understanding of the leadership at the point of time, the function gained different names such as Trade Marketing, Customer Marketing, Shopper Marketing etc.

However, coming back to the title of this blog “Is it Trade Marketing, Customer Marketing,Shopper Marketing or something else?”,  what should or could be the key function to execute the intended roles & responsibilities? My view is that it is “Shopper Marketing” enabled through Trade & Customer and needs to be structured and planned accordingly in an organisation, Shopper Marketing needs to be the starting point. Applying the same analogy as”Customer Business Development” unless we are able to help our Customer win with their Shopper, all else is irrelevant. Only if we have the right rationale behind structuring of a particular function can we drive the right behaviours and results in an organisation. It takes even more importance with the changing Channel landscapes currently with new forces such as online taking prominence. Only if the Customer wins with the Shopper that there will be portfolios to market, initiatives to launch and margins to share.

Ankur Shiv Bhandari

( Ankur Shiv Bhandari is the Global MD of Asbicon group, Asbicon specialises in providing Retail & Distribution effectiveness for Consumer Goods & Services organisations)