By: Nick Allen
In the highly competitive world of retail, the race for efficient space management solutions has been traditionally dominated by titans such as Nielsen and Trax. However, an innovative startup named ShelfSet, founded by Thomas Belote, is stepping up to redefine the retail landscape. Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI), ShelfSet is poised to challenge the industry stalwarts and democratize access to state-of-the-art retail space management technology.
Democratizing Retail Space Management with AI
Based on Belote’s software engineering background and his family distribution business experiences, ShelfSet aims to bring advanced AI technology to retailers of all sizes. “We can take some of this new AI technology that everyone’s talking about, and in particular that Nielsen and Trax are offering a product with, and make it available to people at a low cost and a low commitment,” Belote declared in a recent interview.
ShelfSet is designed to provide retailers with automated and efficient solutions to manage their shelf space. Belote explained the need for this, saying, “It’s work that people are probably already doing manually today because if a national big brand comes in to audit them or see what they’re doing with Nielsen and Trax, they’re going to make sure that they perform well on that audit. People take pictures and manually label what’s on that picture to get an idea of how they’re doing before the automated system comes in.”
Belote aims to automate this process through ShelfSet, making the system accessible and beneficial for retailers throughout their business cycle.
Breaking Down the Barriers
A key advantage of ShelfSet over the traditional giants is its affordability and low commitment. While Nielsen and Trax’s business model focuses on large deals with national and international brands, ShelfSet aims to offer the same level of technology to all retailers, irrespective of their size.
Belote explains, “If you deal with Nielsen and Trax, they’re looking for you to hire their auditors and shoppers. Basically, the people that hire them are the national and international brands. So they’re looking at a big minimum deal size.”
In contrast, ShelfSet’s flexible model offers a cost-effective solution. “We’re open to both training a model and onboarding a customer at $20 per employee per month. So it’s a very low commitment, a very low cost of entry. And we’re looking at yearly updates to the model that’s included.”
The unique business model of ShelfSet allows it to evolve and refine its service with every new client that comes on board. By leveraging customer data, ShelfSet trains its AI models to deliver a tailored user experience unique to each retailer.
Belote views each new client as more than just a customer – they become contributors to ShelfSet’s continuous platform enhancement. The principle behind this is straightforward: the more retailers join the ShelfSet platform, the smarter its AI becomes. This innovative approach sets ShelfSet apart from industry incumbents such as Nielsen and Trax, providing a unique selling point for the forward-thinking company.
The Future of ShelfSet
Belote envisions a bright future for ShelfSet, with plans to explore concepts like slotting fees and introducing features that ensure brands get the shelf space they paid for. However, the primary goal remains to challenge and disrupt the status quo.
ShelfSet is a promising contender in the retail space management industry. By leveraging AI technology, a customer-centric approach, and a commitment to accessibility, it is well-positioned to challenge and potentially disrupt the long-held dominance of retail space management giants. ShelfSet may indeed be the new face of retail space management.