Commercial Use of UPC Scanner Data: Industry and Academic Perspectives

Bucklin, Randolph F.; Gupta, Sunil
September 1999
Marketing Science;1999, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p247
Academic Journal
The authors report the findings from an exploratory investigation of the use of UPC scanner data in the consumer packaged goods industry in the U.S. The study examines the practitioner community's view of the use of scanner data and compares these views with academic research. Forty-one executives from ten data suppliers, packaged goods manufacturers, and consulting firms participated in wide-ranging, in-person, interviews conducted by the authors. The interviews sought lo uncover key questions practitioners would like to answer with scanner data, how scanner data is applied to these questions, and the industry's perspective regarding the success that the use of scanner data has had in each area. The authors then compare and contrast practitioners' views regarding the resolution of each issue with academic research, This produces a 2 × 2 classification of each question as "resolved" or "unresolved" from the perspectives of industry and academia. Along the diagonal of the 2 × 2, issues viewed as unresolved by both groups are important topics for future research. Issues deemed resolved by both groups are, correspondingly, of lower priority. In the off-diagonal cells, industry and academics disagree. These topics should he given priority for discussion, information exchange, and possible further research. Practitioners reported that scanner data analysis has had the most success and been most widely adopted for decision making in consumer promotions (i.e., coupons), trade promotions, and pricing For example, logit and regression models applied to scanner data have revealed very low average consumer response to coupons which has directly led to reduced couponing activity. Managers also reported high levels of comfort with and impact from analyses of trade promotions and price elasticities. While industry views most of the issues in these areas to be resolved, academic research raises concerns about a number of practices in common commercial use. These include price threshold analysis and trade promotion evaluation using baseline and incremental sales. In product strategy, advertising, and distribution management, practitioners reported that the use of scanner data has bad more limited development, success, and impact. In the case of new product decisions, scanner data use has been slow to develop due to the inherent limitations of historical data for these decisions and a heavy reliance on traditional primary research methods. In advertising, scanner data is widely analyzed with models, but confusion among practitioners is very high due to controversies about methods (e.g., what level of data aggregation is best) and conflicting results. In distribution and retail management, scanner data use has tremendous potential hut a mixed track record to date. Thus, Practitioners view the use of scanner data as unresolved for most issues in product strategy, advertising, and distribution. This view is largely, though not entirely, consistent with academic research, which has only begun to address many of the key questions raised by practitioners. In light of the large number of unresolved issues and mixed record of scanner data use to date, the authors offer a series of specific recommendations for immediate and long- term research priorities that are likely to have the greatest impact on commercial utilization of UPC scanner data. Topics of immediate priority include price thresholds and gaps, baseline and incremental sales, base price elasticity, competitive reactions, measurement of advertising effects, management of brand equity, rationalization of product assortments, and category management. Long-term priorities include a greater emphasis on profitability versus sales or market share, developing prescriptive models versus descriptive models, and the need for industry standards.


Related Articles

  • Market Research and Innovation Strategy in a Duopoly. Lauga, Dominique Olié; Ofek, Elie // Marketing Science;Mar/Apr2009, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p373 

    We model a duopoly in which ex ante identical firms must decide where to direct their innovation efforts. The firms face market uncertainty about consumers' preferences for innovation on two product attributes and technology uncertainty about the success of their research and development (R&D)...

  • The Role of Expectations in Set-Size Evaluations. Hanna, Richard; Swain, Scott; Brasel, S. Adam // Advances in Consumer Research;2007, Vol. 34, p471 

    This article focuses on a study on set sizes and how they affect the consumer. The online study of 106 undergraduate student participants used a choice set of digital cameras at a fictitious online store. The experiment looked at participant reactions to limited and extensive sets and how they...

  • ESTIMATING MARKET BOUNDARIES FOR HEALTH CARE FACILITIES AND SERVICES. Massey Jr., Tom K.; Blake, Faye W. // Journal of Health Care Marketing;Sep87, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p15 

    Competition in the health care industry is intensifying. The changing environment is making it necessary for executives to integrate quantitative market identification methods into their strategic planning systems. The authors propose one such method that explicitly recognizes the relative...

  • How to Think, Not What to Think. Grapentine, Terry // Marketing Management;Winter2012, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p45 

    The article focuses on the groundwork to help "Marketing Management" readers understand why and how selected principles from philosophy of science can enhance effectiveness of decision-making. It mentions examples on how to use scientific reasoning to decision-making from the book, such as the...

  • Celloglas expands Mirri product line.  // Printing World;Jul2008, p57 

    The article reports on the decision of Celloglas to extend its range of Miri print finishes in Great Britain. The Miri print finishes include new features like bespoke holographic printing and new sheet capabilities for point-of-sale work. In addition, the new range is also laminated to a...

  • Explanations for Successful and Unsuccessful Marketing Decisions: The Decision Maker's Perspective. Curren, Mary T.; Folkes, Valerie S.; Steckel, Joel H. // Journal of Marketing;Apr92, Vol. 56 Issue 2, p18 

    The authors investigate the attributional processes involved in marketing planning. Using MARKSTRAT, a marketing simulation game, as a research setting, they find that decision makers are likely to have self-serving biases in their causal attributions for performance. The attributions are...

  • Surveyor of the Fittest. Li, Hongjun (HJ) // Marketing Management;Sep2007, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p39 

    You might be surprised at how many new-product introductions fail every year. Unfortunately, such failure is not necessarily due to lack of market investigation. That is not to state, however, that market investigation is not relevant anymore. On the contrary: The industry's poor performance...

  • Politique éditoriale et instructions aux auteurs.  // Decisions Marketing;oct-dec2013, Issue 72, p207 

    No abstract available.

  • Europeans catch up to Americans in marketing decision systems. Farley, John U.; Hulbert, James M.; Weinstein, David // Marketing News;12/5/1975, Vol. 9 Issue 11, p7 

    Reports on the findings of a study on marketing decision systems in European and U.S. companies. Improvements in marketing decision systems design of European industrial firms; Status of marketing in Europe in the 1960s; Problems facing firms competing in industrial markets.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics