Retail Tracking

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” — Jim Barksdale.

 

Metrics like market share, sales and distribution, estimated by the retail tracking service (aka retail index and retail measurement service), are fundamental to formulating marketing strategies and sales plans. These are the vital facts that yield insights on market structure, channel performance, brand health, competition and sales performance. For this reason, retail tracking is the research that practitioners feed on the most.

Though the metrics are easy to comprehend, to interpret the data and draw insights, it is important that you know what the service covers and understand its strengths and limitations. The purpose of this chapter is to impart that understanding through a comprehensive study of the methodology.

The chapter covers in detail the six processes — universe definition, retail census, sample design and recruitment, data collection, data processing, analysis and interpretation — that make-up a retail tracking service. It explains the metrics supported by the service, relates the benefits and applications of the service, and illustrates how the data is interpreted.

Chapter, Sales and Distribution, and the Little People case study, at the conclusion of Part VI, dwell deeper into the application of the retail index for the analysis of sales and distribution.

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