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Digitizing and Collecting Retail Data, With Myriam Awad

Updated: Apr 1

Episode 27: Digitizing and collecting retail data

Hi everyone,

In our latest episode, we sit down with Myriam Awad who's the founder and CEO of PotPay (formerly Bakala), a startup on a mission to digitize offline retail data. As an organization that digitizes offline retail data, PotPay's business model is B2B2C. They work with retailers and brands with their main audience being Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs). Myriam has led the creation of long-term strategies, crafted marketing and sales agendas, grew products, and built winning teams — all resulting in best-in-class management and a proven track record of delivering value. Together we discuss:

  1. How to appeal to your target audience

  2. The process of collecting demographic data

  3. The sales process to find B2B customers in the retail industry

  4. Expanding into technologically developed markets

Build your company's branding to suit your target audience

When businesses change their target audience, they should change their branding as well to appeal to the new personas. Bakala, for example, is the registered name of a company but their product is called PotPay. This is because the company changed their target audience location from the MENA region to Western markets, namely, and since the new personas mainly speak English, a brand based on an Arabic name would not have appealed to them. On the other hand, an English name like PotPay, for an English-speaking audience, is easy to remember and pronounce (versus a foreign name).

Demographic data can be collected through surveys, digitizing receipts, and profiling consumers phone numbers

When collecting consumer data, it is important to identify your target audience by understanding their demographics (gender, marital status, age, etc). Consumer retail data is usually collected through surveying different businesses, loyalty programs, and online channels. However, loyalty program participation is as low as 2-3% so it doesn't provide enough information.

The receipt of any consumer purchase can be used as a source of collecting data. To make this happen, the receipt needs to be digitized. This can happen through (1) the consumer giving their mobile number to receive their receipt, or (2) paying through their bank card since companies like Potpay are already pre-integrated with banks.

Find B2B customers to work with based on standard criteria and a compelling value proposition, and test your service over a trial period

When working with different B2b customers, it is important to have standard criteria to help you identify which ones are the right retailers for your business to work with.

Upon identifying the right customers, the sales and business development process includes: (1) creating a compelling value proposition to convince them to participate in your service, and (2) offer them a free period where they can test the value of the service that is being offered by your company. By giving customers access to data to profile consumers, they understand how it can help them increase their sales, profit, and revenue.

It is important to note that confidentiality is essential when working with consumer data. All retailers are given anonymized data that has been aggregated. This way, they have access to the market data.

Expand into technologically developed markets by leveraging your business networks

When your product-market fit isn't the best for a specific market, try out other ones! Most markets are traditional trade markets. These are markets that are governed by small startups or SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises). So, when looking at countries in the MENA region such as Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, and Jordan, most of their retailers are independent small retailers.

The business model of B2B2C focuses more on big retailers that have a large contribution and volume of the total market in a region. This can be provided by more developed and less traditional markets than in the markets in MENA.

As the Middle East is still advancing on becoming digital in retail payment readiness, retail data collection will be more successful in highly technologically developed countries, such as the US and Canada.

Until next time,



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