If you are a subscriber to Australian Surf Business Magazine, you would have read our regular feature ‘ActionWatch Insights’ which provides all retailers with top line industry market intelligence. However, for participating retailers and our subscribing customers the level of  market research detail available to them runs much deeper. But what is ActionWatch Oz, how does it work and what’s new, or revolutionary about it ? Put simply, ActionWatch Oz is the only monthly market intelligence provider into the Action Sports market here in Australia. ActionWatch combines retailer POS data and proprietary software with cloud based business intelligence software to produce monthly market reports into the $1billion ActionSports market.

Trialed, tested and proven in the USA for well over a decade, ActionWatch is used and endorsed by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) as the primary source of market intelligence into the ActionSports market in the USA since 2004. In 2013, Australian Surf Business Magazine formed a JV company here in Australia to deliver the same service, backed by the same reliable methodology. The aim of launching ActionWatch Oz was to close the gap on the information super highway between big brands and independent retailers here in Australia. In doing so, we’re empowering our subscribing partners and participating retailers with reliable facts and numbers that are timely, accurate and actionable.

For global ActionSports brands, ActionWatch compares the largest key territories (Australia and the USA) ‘apples with apples’ on the same market intelligence platform. The benefits of using the same platform when comparing market research are immediately apparent for our subscribing customers who benefit from having a dual subscription both here and in the USA.

“For global ActionSports brands, ActionWatch compares two of the largest markets ‘apples with apples’ on the same market intelligence platform.”

We learnt from conducting our own Retail Market Research report in Australian Surf Business magazine that retailers are time poor and don’t like to fill in surveys. However, retailers also wanted information at the click of a mouse when they need it. We listened and we responded and with ActionWatch so that there’s no exhaustive survey’s, no security issues, no lag time between results and there’s no monkey business with the people conducting the survey. Brand $ Share, Unit $ Share, Margin, Clearances and Inventory turn rates, top brand and top styles reports are just some of the more basic measures we provide our clients every month.

In Australia we formed an enabling partnership with Osipos, Australia’s leading POS provider to the Action Sports market to streamline the process and provide the most efficient go-to-market capability.

Whilst ActionWatch proprietary software is robust enough to receive data from all types of POS systems (in the USA we’re working with over 40 different systems) here in Australia we formed an enabling partnership with Osipos, Australia’s leading POS provider to the Action Sports market to streamline the process and provide the most efficient go-to-market capability. Clean reliable data, across and even geographic spread was made possible through Osipos ‘Surf Import’ system, which mean’t that retailers simply scanned the product into their Osipos system and went about their daily business. Participation on our panel is completely confidential, one of the barriers to entry was that no one had done this before, and retailers had traditionally played their cards pretty close to their chest. One retailer compared our request to participate on our ActionWatch Panel (and access to their POS system) as like dropping their pants! It took almost 18 months to assemble our (growing) ActionWatch retail panel that includes tier one, first class retailers who on average turn over $800,000 per annum. They are all good ‘fit’ retailers that have invested in their business and understand the power of numbers.

The ActionWatch retail panel includes tier one, first class retailers who on average turn over $800,000 per annum. They are all good ‘fit’ retailers that have invested in their business and understand the power of numbers.

The most common question we get asked is ‘who is on the panel?’ and this is where POS tracking software differs from typical population sample analysis like those annoying Survey Monkey’s. To answer the question, we need to remember that ActionWatch panel members participate confidentially and that data is sent 128bit (bank level) encrypted to our FTP servers, and cannot be geo-targeted. Keep in mind we are focused on total sales volumes, and so it’s better to think of ActionWatch this way…

On average we process approximately $5 million is sales across our panel every month, 150,000 ‘sold’ items and 500,000 unsold items (or units held in inventory) to deliver upto 60 reports to participating retailers. Our leading clients in Australia like Billabong, Volcom, Patagonia, Hurley, Quiksilver, Nixon, Electric and Dragon Optical use a a web-based, collaborative business intelligence platform called ‘Sharepoint’ to take a deeper dive into the data that is available to them 24/7 on any web browser. SharePoint has 190 million users across 200,000 organisations, but ActionWatch Oz was the first to deliver this business analytical tool to the Action Sports market here in Australia.

Each issue, we share top line results with our readers of Australian Surf Business Magazine in our regular ActionWatch Insights also featured here with our May report. May was a slow month for retailers on our ActionWatch Panel with just $3.6 million in sales analysed for the period and over 58,340 units sold as well as 516,470 units held in inventory. Still I’m sure you’ll agree this is a significant and sizeable chunk of the ActionSports market we report on every month.

If you’re an emerging brand or a retailer or a market analyst looking at the $1billion ActionSports market here in Australia, we’ve got you covered with reliable facts and numbers, and methodology that’s been tried and tested for over a decade. For more information about ActionWatch Oz jump on our FAQ here www.actionwatch.com or email keith@actionwatch.com