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  • Writer's pictureNeurolabs

How image recognition can give your CPG brand a competitive edge


As a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brand, we’re sure you’re well aware that you can have great products and an established reputation in the industry but still fall short when it comes to standing out from your competitors and increasing revenue.

As with many other industries, technology presents enormous growth opportunities for brands and businesses, and the CPG space is no exception. Enhanced technologies allow CPGs to improve their operations and gain fantastic insight into customer bases, optimal distribution channels, and more.

Image recognition software is one such enhanced technology that is currently revolutionising the consumer packaged goods industry. Image Recognition (IR) is a type of AI technology that essentially acts as the eyes of a computer, allowing it to “see” and contextualise real data and imagery of SKUs and retail shelving.

Due to its impact, image recognition investment in the CPG sector is expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22% from $2.08 billion in 2022 to $10.23 billion in 2030.

Image recognition can maximise retail store execution (REX) efficiency

Retail industry statistics

It should come as no surprise that customers have a negative perception of stores that regularly run out of stock. According to an older study by the Harvard Business Review, 21% to 43% of people will end up purchasing an item from another shop if their favourite store runs out of their favourite products. More recently, data has shown that CPG retailers missed out on approximately $82 billion in revenue in 2021 due to low product availability.

As a result of these massive missed sales opportunities, CPGs invest a lot of time and resources into developing a Perfect Store strategy.

Retail shelf auditing procedures play a huge role in executing a ‘Perfect Store’ strategy as they are used to optimise product placements, displays, and point-of-sale locations. However, it’s important to note that manual retail shelf audits take a lot of time to complete, and the results can often be inaccurate, giving rise to increased instances of out-of-stocks.

Thankfully, image recognition tools digitise processes, making retail shelf auditing faster and more accurate for retail planners.

For example, tools like Neurolabs’ ZIA use synthetic computer vision technologies to detect SKUs from shelf images. ZIA and other modern image recognition tools can also extract in-depth and accurate information on shelf KPIs like inventory levels, packaging promotion information, and more. This means that, equipped with ZIA, a field rep could finish a store visit 8x faster, allowing for more store visits, while at the same time extracting richer and more reliable shelf data.

An outline of what you can expect from Neurolabs ZIA

Neurolabs’ ZIA platform can also help CPGs and Field Marketing Agencies (FMAs) to break away from the outdated tech and implementation that many retail-based image recognition solutions rely on.

Our previous work with European FMA, Instore Power Provider (IPP), demonstrated that our solution can complete a real-world deployment in less than three weeks, making us considerably faster than the market standard of two to three months. Furthermore, our state-of-the-art platform can onboard a new SKU in one day or less, making it four times faster than the market average.

The enhanced capabilities of our ZIA platform allows you to execute an IR approach that is not only faster to onboard, but also more accurate and robust in its output. For example, in our aforementioned case study, IPP achieved 97.6% accuracy when detecting products. Meanwhile, our collaboration with Sagra Technology achieved over 98% SKU detection accuracy in just seven days.

As a CPG, enhancing your SKU detection capabilities with a modernised image recognition tool such as Neurolabs’ ZIA can have numerous benefits. One of the biggest bonuses of ZIA is that it helps to reduce the time in-store for field reps tasked with maintaining/ensuring perfect store execution compliance.

IR can help you increase sales

A recent survey in the US found that 80% of consumers seek out brands that understand their needs. In addition, 80% of shoppers will also try out a new product if it is offered at a discount.

Therefore, CPG brands looking to gain a competitive edge should take advantage of price matching and AI tools that can help them gather and analyse competitor data and customer insights.

Enhanced image recognition tools like Neurolabs’ ZIA, for example, incorporate data sets such as competitor pricing at SKU-level, helping CPGs make data-driven pricing decisions. In addition, Neurolabs ZIA also supplies SKU information as JSON files, allowing FMA teams to integrate their existing third-party SFA tools to help them improve customer engagement metrics.

One beverage company studied by Bain and Company found that 40% of its spending on pricey merchandising items like tables, chairs, and umbrellas went to outlets without the growth potential to warrant such investments. However, when the company supplied field reps with enhanced analytics tools (outlining insights such as optimal product placement guidance, sales reward systems, etc.), the company was able to make its products more enticing to customers and boost profits by 5%.

Supercharge your shelf auditing with ZIA

Neurolabs ZIA can help you stay ahead of market trends and tech

The speed, scalability, accuracy and efficiency of synthetic image recognition tools like Neurolabs’ ZIA enable CPGs to stay ahead of retail trends and direct competitors.

ZIA is easy to deploy and has 100,000 SKUs pre-loaded in its database. Furthermore, ZIA also integrates with your existing SFA tools to make the onboarding process as quick and straightforward as possible, with no training required for in-store field reps.

Interested in learning more about Neurolabs’ ZIA and the synthetic computer vision model that powers it? See how we can help drive your business forward and understand more about the power of synthetic data in our latest eBook.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact us directly for a personalised demonstration.

The Future of Retail Shelf Auditing Ebook - Download eBook

At Neurolabs, we are revolutionising in-store retail performance with our advanced image recognition technology, ZIA. Our cutting-edge technology enables retailers, field marketing agencies and CPG brands to optimise store execution, enhance the customer experience, and boost revenue as we build the most comprehensive 3D asset library for product recognition in the CPG industry.


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