The best known service providing such data is the Nielsen retail Index in U.S, which provides continuous sales data on grocery products, confectionary products, dairy products, frozen foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic products, tobacco, health and beauty aids, housekeeping products, and paper products. Data are obtained every 60 days by auditing the inventories, purchases, and sales of a carefully selected sample of food stores, drug stores, and mass merchandisers. Similar data collected in much the same way are available in 26 other countries. In all cases, the data are gathered by a well trained full time staff of men and women.
Clients of the audit program, typically manufacturers, receive regular reports of total sales of the applicable product class, sales of their own and competing brands, retail inventories and stock turnover, retail and wholesale prices, retail gross margins, percentage of stores stocking special manufacturer deals, in-store promotional activity, and local advertising. These data are made available for the United States and by regions, a client’s sales territories, store ownership groups, and sales volume groups.
Nielsen also offers a scan-track service based on the electronic scanning of universal product coeds at the supermarket level. Such sales data are provided weekly for the United States as a whole and for 26 individual markets. In addition, Nielsen offers an Early Intelligence Service, designed to alert clients to opportunities and threats in a large number of product groups sold by supermarkets; a variety of test market services; and a Store Observation Service that provides data on product availability, shelf-facings, and in-store displays from a large sample of several types of stores.
Selling Areas-marketing Inc, (SAMI/Burke) provides manufacturers with movement data on more than 180,000 consumer products in more than 500 categories from warehouses to supermarket, drug stores and mass merchandisers. These data are reported every four weeks for each of the 54 SAMI-defined market areas. The company’s Sam scan service provides sales data including information on market share, distribution ad price) based on a sample of supermarket using UPC scanning devices. These data can be broken down by some 20 markets.
SAMI also operates a service called SARDI, which measures product availability (by brand, items, and consumers deal pack) at the retail level. The sample consists of more than 7,000 stores that can be broken out by 54 SAMI market areas as well as by each major chain and major wholesales distributor. Individual store data are provided by the same distributors who supply SAMI their warehouse withdrawal information.
SAMI also offers a Market Segmentation Services, which subdivides 27 SAMI markets into ethnic segments. This service provides product movement and placement data for black versus non-black and for Hispanic versus non-Hispanic. The sample consists of a large number of supermarkets, each with sales of $1 million or more. The geographic service measures product movement and distribution in subdivisions representing television coverage area in the SAMI market areas.
The idea of providing data as out lined above is to facilitate marketers and manufacturers to plan their strategies and organize channels for distribution in the respective areas. This will also aid economic logistics and optimization of sales personnel in the respective areas. More over these types of information helps the top managements to give a direction to their employees on intended action plans with logic in facts and figures.
The above data of Market Research is a perpetual descriptive research carried out to describe a phenomenon or market characteristics. This is conducted as a periodic review and up dates the information from time to time to assist marketers under changing conditions and competition.