Crowdsourcing involves gathering information, or views from a large number of people using the internet, social media, or smartphone. In crowdsourcing, participants operate as paid freelancers or some of them offer free services. Data that is crowdsourced enables brands to have a unified commerce approach to their business.

“Crowdsourcing- data” refers to the process of creating a data set with help from others. Everyone contributes their own data points for future use. This is where it becomes an increasingly efficient approach for retailers to know about their target audience. Influencers on Instagram often use this technique by asking for opinions from their followers on the most happening trends in haute couture OR that one service aspect that makes them switch loyalties and more. All of this is possible at a fraction of the cost it takes to perform a market survey, is a lot faster and offers an easy digital outreach of results.

While using the help of influencers on Instagram might be one way of crowdsourcing data, there are a lot of other ways too that retailers exploit to gather information on a pinch.

Real-life Examples of Crowdsourcing Data:

  • Waze is one of the most well-known instances of a corporation that uses crowdsourcing. There are many mobile-friendly GPS applications, but Waze stands apart from competitors like Google by using crowdsourced travel data in their solution. Users contribute data on traffic bottlenecks, road dangers, and even police radar hotspots, which become readily visible to other users. It not only fetches a user-friendly result but is also cost-effective.
  • In 2010, Coca-Cola successfully utilized its Facebook page to launch a new Vitaminwater flavor called ‘Connect.’ More than 40,000 Facebook users had participated in games and quizzes, and had submitted their designs and tastes. Coca-Cola also provided crowdsourcing tools for product creation and development. They created a product about which they were highly passionate. Such examples show the power of social media to crowdsource fresh ideas and designs.
  • Lego, a toy manufacturer, is responsible for one of the most impressive examples of crowdsourcing. The company allows users to create new items while also testing demand. Any user can submit a design to be voted on by other users. The proposal that wins maximum votes is put to production, and the creator earns a 1% royalty on the net revenue.

Lego has increased the number of product ideas while simultaneously enhancing client involvement. And this type of involvement creates a buzz that is impossible to duplicate using any other means.

  • Even huge companies like Samsung see the potential of crowdsourcing. In Palo Alto, Samsung has the largest Crowdsourcing facility. They are looking for novel solutions for existing electronic items and technology from others. They’re also looking for ways to collaborate with other businesses and individuals.

Samsung teamed up with product creation platform Marbler in 2013 to crowdsource ideas for how they may use recently found NASA patents. They gave people the opportunity to participate in the development of the company’s future product in exchange for a cut of the profits.

  • Starbucks has a robust social media presence, and invites customers to submit, view, and debate ideas with Starbucks staff from various departments on a daily basis. They even have a website dedicated to this aim, complete with a leader board that shows who is the most active consumer. Experimentation and social media, along with consumer participation and market research, have resulted in a winning combination for the business.
  • Airbnb’s whole business strategy is built on crowdsourcing — it’s basically a vacation website that allows people to rent out their homes all around the world.

However, more recently, they collaborated with eYeka on a Crowdsourcing initiative that requested filmmakers from all over the world to create fresh, real video material about their hometowns. The videos had to be 60 seconds long, and the winners would get a portion of the prize pool of €20,000. This isn’t the first time they’ve used crowdsourcing to create content. In 2013, they encouraged Twitter users to send them scripted photos from across the world in the style of Vines.

  • PepsiCo encourages customers for feedback on a variety of items from time to time, such as when they invited customers to share their favorite new potato chip flavor for the company’s Lay’s brand. After the millennial market share began to drop in 2012, the Do Us a Flavor’ campaign was launched. An incredible 14 million entries were received. Cheesy Garlic Bread came out on top. This brilliant crowdsourced innovation effort resulted in an 8% boost in sales.

Digital Crowdsourcing

  • From the big data perspective crowdsourcing has become an innovative technology to enhance data processing and analysis. Crowdsourcing big data enables businesses to save money on internal resources while also benefiting from the human element. When compared to machines, in crowdsourced data, content balancing and evaluation inquiry from customer critique, social updates, polls, or remarks with publicly backed workforce result in precise knowledge.
  • Crowd provides structure (archive alteration, sound translation, image comment) to a massive volume of data, allowing experts to improve their investigation prescient models by 25%.
  • Crowdsourcing combined with extensive data analysis can uncover hidden knowledge from disparate but related data.
  • Therefore, when crowdsourcing and big data analytics work together, organizations make informed business decisions. With Crowd-sourced data, organizations can easily solve problems, and generate new ideas.

Conclusion

Crowdsourcing data is useful for organizations to gather the ideas from a huge group of people, to solve problems, and generate new ideas. Social media allows reaching out to a huge audience at a lower cost.

Shifting to a shared-ideas platform may require a significant cultural transformation for a traditional retailer acclimatized to a top-down strategy. The Crowd-sourcing concept is built on the idea that more people can generate better ideas, resulting in increased production. On the crowdsourcing platform, there is always a solution accessible, regardless of the business requirement.

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Krishnan Jayaraman