Battling Amazonification: What You Need to Know about Data for Independent Retailers

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One of my favorite things to do in this Enolytics 101 series is shine a spotlight on other business and people who are doing impactful, cool things in the wine + data space.

3x3 Insights, based in New York, is one of them and here’s why: they empower independent retailers and, better yet, they empower them in useful, content-rich ways.

Here’s my Q&A with 3x3 Insights, on their use of effective video (“Depletion reports just won’t cut it…”), beverage data in ethnically diverse communities, and where their data comes from.

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Why “3x3 Insights”…?

Although our mission is to ultimately to help the independent alcohol retailer compete by using analytics and engagement tools to provide superior customer experience to keep people shopping at their stores, we have always had all three tiers of the industry in mind. In fact, our name is a nod to the three-tier system, as well as a reference to the “last three feet” (which refers to the customer standing at the shelf where they make the decision) that has always been important.

We are in pilot conversations with numerous suppliers on ways we can help them understand and reach their most valuable customers in the markets where we already have stores. We also have been in talks with major distributors on ways we can help each other succeed by extending the reach of our analytics network while providing them superior data and analytics than the depletion data they currently rely on.

I love that you’re using video (your “Retail Untapped series) to communicate. What drove this decision, and how is it working out so far? What kind of traction are you seeing?

We took a good hard look at how the entire industry develops media and content and realized there was very little innovation in the video sphere. We know that video is a medium that is continuing to grow and can more powerfully capture the attention of independent retailers and the industry as a whole. We wanted to create something well-produced, authentic, and truly informative; something that would actually add value to those who watch. We are focusing on empowering retailers in the independent channel however we can: given the obvious popularity of video and that nobody else was doing it, we developed this bi-weekly video series highlighting important news, trends and insights for the independent alcohol channel.

The response thus far has been outstanding. We have already seen consistent, strong growth across all mediums and distribution channels, including state associations, the ABL, and our own network of influential independent retailers. We’re quickly realizing that the industry needs a strong hub of content focused on news and insights from around the entire independent channel. We’re working hard to make sure we continue to deliver!

One of the reasons I was first attracted to 3x3 Insights was your awareness that diverse ethnic communities were underserved, and not well understood, when it comes to beverage alcohol marketing. How are your efforts going so far?

Demographics and understanding brand performance in diverse segments is important to 3x3 on two dimensions. The first looks at the demographic differences in store and product performance, and consumer buying patterns within neighborhoods in local markets. Our platform algorithmically models the neighborhoods surrounding a store to place it in a particular demographic profile, which allows comparisons between neighborhoods and markets on a demographic basis.

When we launch our consumer engagement and marketing offering to retailers, our data will grow richer in its ability to target demographics at a product and consumer level, which will enable both deeper understanding of the consumer's diversity and engage them appropriately with the brands that resonate.

How do you integrate on-premise and off-premise data?

Today our network consists of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, but we are moving quickly to incorporate on-premise in fulfillment of 3x3's vision of creating an ecosystem of retailers that help brands put the right products in the right customers' hands through the right experiences. In order to accomplish that vision, our platform needs to be able to understand buying behavior, and move consumers between on- and off-premise buying opportunities.

We utilize several data sources to create a rich understanding of consumer buying behavior. These range from aggregated social media data measuring sentiment for brands, to data that consumers share with us based on their desires to participate in the ecosystem, and the demographic data collected both at the store level and when reported by consumers. We take great care in using consumer data, exceeding the requirements that exist today around consumer privacy. Our aim is to provide a platform that consumers want to benefit from by affiliating with their beloved local, independent retailers and help those retailers battle the effects of Amazonification that come from rampantly personalizing sales and commoditizing products.

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So what’s the relationship between 3x3 Insights and Enolytics?

Mutual respect, first of all, for adding value to the industry in our own ways. And, second, deep partnership awareness: each of our inputs is recognized for contributing insights that, when combined, amount to more than what we could contribute alone.

Data + wine is a growth area, and it ramps up more and more each day. None of us – including you – is in this on your own.

How can we help?

I look forward, as always, to your thoughts, and thank you for reading.

Cathy