NAILBITER: Unlocking the Power of Consumer & Shopper Behavior in CPG

Amishi Takalkar, Co-Founder & CEO From Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup can to the classic bottle of Coca-Cola, there is a lot of effort that goes into making these brands shine through the competition in shopping aisles. How a product looks on the shelves and imparts that outstanding “touch-and-feel” quality makes a difference. That being said, for physical stores which are slowly giving way to their online counterparts, CPG companies need to come up with new strategies to ensure that their clients’ brands can stay relevant and draw consumer attention even in the online realm, where shoppers are heavily influenced by stats and reviews alone.

To turn the tables in their favor, brands need to understand how the shoppers really purchase and consume products (versus what they say). As such, brands have taken a data driven and behavioral interest in CPG research by leveraging the digital solutions of today.

“NAILBITER’s technology enables CPG manufacturers to visualize the e-commerce, in-store, and omnichannel journey of their customers”

NAILBITER is at the forefront of this makeover in CPG research and marketing.

Consumers record their actual purchase decisions in-store and online and their consumption occasions at home via short mobile videos. NAILBITER collects and converts these videos at large scale into Videometrics and insights. This data is inherently more behavioral which makes the insights more unique, believable, and actionable.

Setting Base for CPG That Sells
“Historically speaking, CPG has been at the forefront of leveraging the data revolution; however, in the last 20 years, they seem to have fallen behind. It wasn’t because there wasn’t enough data, but rather too much data with very little insight. That’s where I believe we are making a change, using behavioral data to give CPG manufacturers better insights into their product and branding,” says Amishi Takalkar, co-founder and CEO of NAILBITER.

To give an example, if a shopper is planning to buy toothpaste, NAILBITER’s app will ask the shopper at the store, to turn on their camera, point it to the aisle, and talk about their purchase and the reasoning behind their choice.
The shopper can spend either 10 seconds or three minutes talking about it, depending on how much they considered, NAILBITER collects hundreds of these videos. The company will then analyze and “dissect” them into specific metrics and data points that are transformed into actionable insights for clients. NAILBITER can inform the manufacturer of how shoppers are behaving in a store or while shopping online, their interaction with a specific CPG category, how they learn about a product or brand, and how consumers are Noticing, Picking Up, and Carting the products that are on display.

As consumers shop, NAILBITER’s clients get to know about the current needs and trends in real-time, giving them an idealistic picture of their products’ potential

The NAILBITER approach replaces the “ask and answer” nature of traditional online surveys. Online surveys were introduced in the 1990s and have helped make research more efficient, making them widely accessible. However, it is wellknown that online surveys have lower data quality than other forms of market research. This is especially true in CPG where brand and product recall is typically low.

Brands must be willing to take on a different perspective, to see through the eyes of the shopper and the consumer, which is precisely what NAILBITER offers. Over the past 5 years, they have been able to uncover many consumer behaviors that have a strong impact on category and brand selection that were immeasurable in the past. For example, NAILBITER replaces the traditional brand awareness metric with “Brand Notice”. The awareness metric is half a century old and doesn’t represent the 100 different ways that brands market and present themselves to the shopper. “Notice” on the other hand is the percent of shoppers who notice the brand in-store or online and is a new and highly sensitive metric that helps predict the impact of brand and marketing activity on sales volume..

NAILBITER’s “always on” approach provides clients with shopper feedback annually, quarterly, or on preferred time-frames. Alternatively, the platform can interact with shoppers and consumers on a question, and answer basis should the clients need a more direct or specific answer to the queries about their product’s performance in the aisle.

Seeing the Market Through Your Eyes

The methodology is designed to be natural, scalable, and behavioral. As Amishi puts it, “The consumer-volunteer will get a small incentive—small enough that they will not want to make a special trip to go to the store, but good enough that if they’re already there, they’ll think ‘why not?’”
All of the videos submitted by the consumers are subjected to a combination of human perception and machine technology. The NAILBITER team looks at each of these videos. This process generates insights that ensure that the client is set up for success to make data driven decisions to protect their brands or identify specific issues that they can potentially rectify. This allows clients to be competitive, by not just analyzing their products, but competing products as well. The solution can deliver quick insights, eliminating the need to wait for customer feedback on the existing product line to start a new project.

The Market Unfolded, A New Wave for Brand Definition

Creating a large-scale behavioral platform was a big challenge to overcome. The next challenge was discovering how to measure through this platform. The final goal was to establish norms that can help predict future brand performance. According to Amishi, “this platform has been growing in adoption at major CPG manufacturers steadily.” The recent COVID pandemic has further illuminated the need for this type of observational platform. They quickly responded by tracking over a thousand shoppers and was widely recognized by the industry for uncovering the definition of the “new normal”. In this new normal, brands should view the current opportunity with enthusiasm and platforms like NAILBITER will help uncover growth opportunities from changing brand and retailer behaviors.

“In terms of client feedback, it has been amazing. Clients are taking our data to retailers, and the retailers are pushing other companies to come to us and get similar data,” adds Amishi. The CPG industry is changing rapidly, and NAILBITER doesn’t want to wait for things to happen or be created. “We are encouraged to work in a field where so many of our clients are actively seeking to try new methodologies and shake up the status quo. We have seen when researchers stop thinking of themselves as a support function but instead strive to be provocative thought leaders, they uncover better ways to strengthen their organization as well as improve their understanding of their shoppers.”

The biggest takeaways from NAILBITER’s experience in CPG is captured by the New Normal that the industry is in. COVID-19 has sent a shock to the global consumer. Instability is a part of the new normal and CPG Brands will need to develop new ways of listening to & communicating with Consumers. “The coronavirus has accelerated many trends we have been tracking over the years such as eCommerce engagement and the rise of private label. Now more than ever, market research has an opportunity to enable clients to adapt, improve, and succeed with consumers in all categories. We’re here to help our partners do just that.”


Reston, VA

Amishi Takalkar, Co-Founder & CEO

NAILBITER uses video metric analysis to observe, understand, and uncover patterns to how the consumer shops at the store. The way NAILBITER works is simple—the company invites shoppers to record their shopping and consumption (of CPG categories),via an app on the shopper’s phone. Shoppers make a short video and sometimes share their thoughts with NAILBITER, about the products and shopping experience, choosing to say as little or as much as they want to. NAILBITER’s “always on” approach provides clients with shoppers’ feedback annually, quarterly, or on preferred time-frames. Alternatively, the platform can also interact with shoppers and consumers on a question, and answer basis should the clients need a more direct or specific answer to the queries about their product’s performance on the aisle.