Covid has disrupted many different industries and in some cases, has dramatically shifted the way in which we work. The world is changing, more quickly than ever due to the pandemic and the field agency space has been disrupted. Find out how positive collaboration can be an effective solution for many of the challenges Covid has created for agencies.

The problems Covid has created

Covid has made it difficult for brands and agencies to retain and hire field employees. There is now a significant lack of staff, which means fewer resources available for them to visit retailers across the country. The whole retail and hospitality industries are struggling as a direct result of there being fewer people available to check and fix issues in stores. Due to staff shortages, brands and agencies are now placing more focus on the top retailers and less on smaller, dispersed stores. 

The problem with only covering the big format stores is that Covid has placed a greater emphasis on the importance of the smaller independents. As we covered in ‘Why more people are choosing to shop local’, local shopping and the convenience sector has seen a surge in popularity. Without having the resources available to check these stores, field agencies and brands are potentially missing out on merchandising important locations.

So, what’s the solution?

The answer is that businesses need to accept that Covid has meant it’s now impossible for them to do everything internally. The key to overcoming the challenges the pandemic has created is to collaborate.


Brand and agencies can look to partner with indirect competitors to solve many of the outlined challenges. With syndication, brands can work together to drive down the cost of in-store audits and data collection. 

For example, gaining category intelligence can benefit a number of brands at once and help them to understand important information about trends and legislation. HFSS regulatory rules are a big challenge for many FMCG brands right now, and by partnering with each other, brands can find out key insights without breaking the bank.

Tech integrations

Integrating with technology solutions, like Shepper, can help agencies and brands get the data they need while maintaining a more cost-effective model. For example, Shepper can work with you to check locations all across the country (and beyond), at a fraction of the cost of sending out your own employees. By sourcing the crowd, our solution is incredibly cost-effective. We can then provide you with the data, highlighting the problem stores so that you’ll only need to send your employees to them. This will help you prioritise and optimise your resources. 

The new environment offers a real opportunity for agencies and tech solutions to work together, creating an ecosystem that gives brands a more 360° view of what’s going on, while allowing you to only send people where it’s economically viable to send them.