The basic membership of the CatManPeople.com is free of charge for standard members. These are mostly retail industry professionals such as employees of retailers and retail suppliers.
Some features of this web may be available through paid membership levels only.
The membership is normally not free of charge for employees of recruitment agencies, nor of certain other types of companies, such as category management products/services providers, market research companies, advertisers, etc. There are also specific rules in place for such members, in order to protect other members privacy. These rules are part of the terms and conditions of this web site.
As far as we are aware, or at least were aware at the time of our launch, here are the main differences:
1.) We check all submitted registration requests 1 by 1 to ensure that the core members of the site are people from retail industry. This ensures not only better safety/privacy of the members (e.g. there should be no spammers, ‘robots’/automatic registrations), but it also ensures the relevance of the registered members and therefore relevance of the site content as well.
2.) Our web site offers not only some of what has been offered to date, e.g. profile/resume creation, connecting to other members, wall, blogs, jobs section, etc. but also some real time communication and collaboration features, such as
- live chat 1 to 1
- live group chat in chat rooms (e.g. there is a Lobby room for all, but also each country has a separate chat room)
- users can also create their own chat rooms; they can set them as password-protected, too (and choose their own password), e.g. for their internal company communication and collaboration
- collaborative document sharing
- sending files
- writing in different languages/alphabets
- handwriting a message (for easier explanations, for example of certain products or fixture shapes)
1 important thing we would like to highlight, is that people can set their status, e.g. to appear as busy or off line, so that other members would not disturb them when they are not available for a chat.
We would also like to note that people can fully set and fine tune their privacy about who can see their profile, their posts, etc.
Third parties, such as recruitment agencies or advertisers, are not allowed to contact people who do not express their consent for such contact in their profiles, nor can they contact people who hide their answers to this consent in their profiles.
We all know that collaboration, e.g. best practice sharing, is crucial to increase the standards of category management and retail in general. This is important even more so when shoppers are becoming more demanding and smarter, especially thanks to the latest technology and quick access to internet even on a shop floor.
People from retail industry meet at different forums and conferences, but until this web site was launched, there seemed to be no real-time communication and collaboration place on line. Our web site offers many advantages, such as time saving on travel, 24/7 access to relevant people worldwide, or potential answers to any quick questions
We check all registrations one by one. We request the company name and the work email address at the registration. We check, for example, whether a company name is included in a work email address (which normally should be).
For example a person working in Heineken should have a work email address @Heineken. The password to the web site is sent to the work email address to make sure the email does exist.
This is the reason why we require a company name and a work email address at the registration. Alternatively people can prove in some other way that they work in the retail industry, e.g. by sending us a confirmation from their current or previous employer with the employer’s stamp and signature.
It’s all up to you/the people really. The website offers many features for communication and collaboration. And it’s for people who believe that staying in the loop, sharing best practices and helping each other to answer questions is the way forward.
Someone might need an answer that someone else can offer straight away and only lose a few seconds with answering. On the other hand, the same person who offers the answer might be helped at some other time with a question that he/she does not have answer to.
We believe that there are many people with such thinking, and those who decide not to use the site will probably have to keep helping themselves and may also lose touch with the latest collective knowledge from the industry.
The opportunity for collaboration we offer is based on a simple fact. Each of us might know a lot, but none of us knows everything. And the collective knowledge will give us the power to meet a shopper’s needs better and faster, which should also help to grow the retail sales and profits of those involved.
Our goal is to break any communication and collaboration barriers as much as possible. There is a plan to add for example
- High quality audio/video calls and conferences
- Screen sharing
- Automatic chat translation from and to different languages
- Desktop application
- Applications for mobile phones and tablets
We plan to be improving the web site constantly, not only by adding new features, but also to make it work as fast as possible. We will also be looking to get new ideas and suggestions from our members on going.
Such members can easily ‘Unregister’ themselves by just couple of clicks, and all their account and content will be deleted from the web site.
In other words, people have nothing to lose really. They can only gain, and should therefore try it out, at least.