Solution Provider Spotlight: NIQ

October 19, 2023
by Peter Conti, SVP Advanced Analytics

Company Name: NIQ
Author of the post: Peter Conti, SVP Advanced Analytics
Tenure With Current Company: 24 years
Years of Industry Experience: 41 years

Give us a brief history of your company, when and how did you get started and what is your high-level mission statement?

​NIQ is the world’s leading consumer intelligence company, delivering the most complete understanding of consumer buying behavior and revealing new pathways to growth. In 2023, NIQ combined with GfK, bringing together the two industry leaders with unparalleled global reach. With a holistic retail read and the most comprehensive consumer insights—delivered with advanced analytics through state-of-the-art platforms—NIQ delivers the Full View™️.

Our company was founded in 1923 by Arthur C. Nielsen, Sr., who invented an approach to measuring competitive sales results that made the concept of “market share” a practical management tool. In the past century, Nielsen advanced the practice of market research and media audience measurement to provide clients a better understanding of their consumers.

What would you like CMA and SIMA members to know about your brand/company?

NIQ is a consumer intelligence company that delivers the most complete and clear understanding of consumer buying behavior that reveals new pathways to growth for retailers and brands.

What is the most common question you hear from current and potential customers, and how do you answer it?

Inflation impact is still high on the list, but clients are now asking more about how they can thoughtfully bring back promotions coming out of the pandemic years where promotions were dramatically reduced. Designing the right promotion plan is critical now because it sets the tone for the future with your retail partners. Think about what it was like leading into the pandemic, essentially 2019 or earlier. Promotion frequency was getting higher and higher, deals were getting more aggressive, and the pie wasn’t getting any bigger. There was little incremental volume being generated and the trade was complaining that they wished they could change the way they were promoting. The pandemic created that opportunity and reduced or completely shut off promoting due to the extreme supply issues we were facing. The window to rethinking promotions was opened wide, but it’s now closing fast and 2024 will be the first year where our clients will have more traditional trade plans. NIQ has some excellent solutions to help clients put the right plans in place, with the right pricing that drives positive ROI and allows them to analyze each promotion quickly and at the sales team level. Our NIQ Revenue Optimizer solution has the capability to evaluate a variety of promotion scenarios to optimize performance against KPIs and uses thousands of data points to recommend promotion prices that offer value to the shopper without leaving money on the table.

Any white space in the industry or areas you are looking to expand into?

AI is the obvious whitespace everyone is talking about, but closer in its infusing predictive analytics into everyday business practices. This is fundamental and allows for proactive responses to changing category and market trends as well as better pricing and promotion recommendations backed by big data.

What is the most important thing that needs to be addressed in the category management and shopper insights disciplines going forward?

There are new pressures on the retail shelf that will change category management. Not only is there retail foot traffic, but there is also click-and-collect, personal shopping services and retail labor shortages. As more retailers think of their stores as an extension of the supply chain and using them, or adding to them micro-fulfillment centers focus will change to adding greater than fair share space to high velocity SKUs at the expense of variety and slower selling SKUs in the categories. We’re already seeing some of this as most departments have reduced average items carried over the last four years. Variety now needs to be thought of in terms of incremental contribution to the category and that part of the shelf that satisfies the shopper’s desire for discovery within the categories.

How are you thinking about the next 3-5 years in retail?

Shoppers are strategic about how they are shopping, and it is getting easier every day to start the shopping journey from anywhere and compare across the market. This will only accelerate in the next 5 years. As shoppers adopt new technologies to fulfill their shopping needs, more attention will need to be given to how retailers drive loyalty, highlight impulse brands, and promote. NIQ can help with all of that from assortment analysis using Shelf Architect or revenue optimization and promotion with our Revenue Optimizer solution. 2030 is right around the corner and we will have a huge piece of the shopper base over the age of 65 as well as younger, completely digitally savvy shoppers. This will drive the need for understanding their path to purchase, how these shoppers want to interact with retail and an expectation of a fluid experience between online and instore. Innovation will have to appeal to changing lifestyles, sustainability and changing nutritional labeling from the government. The next 5-6 years will likely be one of the most exciting and dynamic times for CPG and for retailers.