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09/09/2021

PepsiCo Launching Pepviz Data Science Practice for Retail Partners

Lisa Johnston
Senior Editor
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PepsiCo says it works with all retailers, with the ideal partner being one willing to lean into the commitment.
PepsiCo says it works with all retailers, with the ideal partner being one willing to lean into the commitment.

PepsiCo is launching its Pepviz insights framework to retailers, seeking data-sharing partners to develop the technology into customized solutions.

The company has been developing a data practice over the last several years in which it leverages data-driven predictive analytics in partnership with retailers to drive growth. Given the lack of reliable historical retail data during the pandemic, PepsiCo wants to partner with retailers to help the sellers assess whether they have the right data sources while also developing more tailored solutions for their existing data.

Though in the works for several years, the conversations with its retail partners really came to a head in the last year, Kate Garner, PepsiCo senior VP, told CGT. While the No. 3 publicly owned consumer goods company has had the capabilities and tools to leverage data during the rapidly evolving selling environment, they now want to reframe the conversation for broader dialogues about helping solve their retail partners’ biggest challenges.

As a result, they’re bringing Pepviz out from its umbrella to help the company work with retailers to develop custom solutions. “Our goal now is agility,” she says.  

[See also: How PepsiCo’s Chief Data and Analytics Officer Leverages Data to Predict the Future]

PepsiCo leverages Pepviz with retailers in a number of ways. Garner cited an example in which one merchant sought to understand how to grow their salty category in both the number and size of stores. By examining a lookalike environment across the store profile, PepsiCo identified that some of its better-for-you products would resonate.

While the partner was initially skeptical — “They really challenged us whether or not their shopper would find relevance in that space,” Garner says — the analytics enabled PepsiCo to demonstrate their supposition.

“It was a low risk [for the retailer]”, she notes. “They didn't need to unlock something across all of their space. We know space is incredibly valuable, and so we did a small set of stores at a time.”

The data proved to be correct: Both the retailer and PepsiCo recorded the growth, and the retailer went on to expand that to the breadth of the relevant data set.

In another instance, PepsiCo worked with a retailer that needed to optimize its space in order to better service its click-and-collect customers. By leveraging Pepviz, it identified the multipack items that could remain in the backroom instead of hogging the much-needed shelf space. Achieving this level of retail execution granularity enabled PepsiCo to observe 48% growth for its multipack business with the seller.

“We're focused on what's most relevant today and looking forward to predictive indicators — as certainly looking backwards in today's environment is not necessarily an indicator of what we would anticipate to happen in the future.”
Kate Garner, PepsiCo senior VP

Beyond driving sales, partnering for Pepviz is helping the company build credibility and trust with its retailers, Garner says. “We want to be a premier supplier partner for our retailers, and certainly that comes by thinking about long-term joint growth, not just growth for PepsiCo. Our experience is that the retailers who partner with us in this way come back and ask for additional products because we demonstrate trust and credibility in delivering benefit for both partners.”

The framework is built on two data sets, termed Store DNA and Consumer DNA. Store DNA unlocks granular growth by integrating what PepsiCo measures for retailers selling its products, including footfall, shopper reviews, points of interest, internal store format, and sales and execution data.

Consumer DNA seeks to understand the consumers purchasing products, measuring such things as socio-demographics, likelihood to shop different retailers and brands, media habits, and other interests.

[See also: PepsiCo’s Future of Work is Flexible]

Unlike other insights frameworks, Pepviz is agile and not designed as a one-size-fits-all solution, Garner says. “It's really designed to be a practice and an approach for partnership,” she notes. “We're focused on what's most relevant today and looking forward to predictive indicators — as certainly looking backwards in today's environment is not necessarily an indicator of what we would anticipate to happen in the future.”

In developing Pepviz, Garner says the company has learned the importance of being open and not being grounded in past information. As they identify new challenges and growth opportunities, they’re instead focused on identifying the right data to answer new questions. This includes those surrounding consumer focus — such as safety and financial concerns — to better understand the different factors driving consumer and shopper behavior.

PepsiCo says it works with all retailers, with the ideal partner being one willing to lean into the commitment and share a joint problem they’re invested in solving — as well as contribute data to make it a tailored solution.

“It's important that it's a joint initiative,” Garner stresses. “It's not something that we can bring independent of our retail partner.”

She adds that with the joint solution, there is also the opportunity to expand beyond PepsiCo’s categories. “The breadth is there — it's just a question of the willingness to work in partnership.”

Feedback has been positive thus far, Garner says, with retailers further engaging with them for additional partnering opportunities.

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