The 5 Types of Retail Data RDs Need to Understand

The 5 Types of Retail Data RDs Need to Understand

August 21, 2019
Annette Maggi
Retail Industry Insights

By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Retailers generate and/or use various data sets that can be of value to retail dietitians in understanding shoppers, tracking sales of healthier products, and creating targeted programs and promotions. Five types of data for retail dietitians to understand are:

Point-of-Sale (POS) Data: While the primary function of POS systems is to ring merchandise sales, they offer a variety of more sophisticated features. Through POS systems, retailers track profit margins, basket size, traffic by hour, and sales trends. The data can be sorted to understand differences in these metrics by store location and sales channel.

Loyalty Card Data: This data is used to understand the shopping habits of a retailer’s more loyal shoppers, including when, where and how they shop. With registration, demographic data is typically captured. Store vs. online shopping patterns can be identified. Based on frequent purchase data and typical shopping patterns, offers are targeted at loyalty card holders. 

Market Research Data. There are two types of market research data – secondary and primary. Secondary data is typically published data that provides a high-level overview of markets, consumer demographics, and industry trends. It provides context. Primary markets are when companies gather original information through surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc. Companies have control over the audience included in primary research as well as the specific questions asked. 

Syndicated Data: These data sets measure consumer behavior based on the environment and competition. Price, time, and product purchased are tracked as well as in-store conditions impacting a sale. Data is available at the product and market level. IRI and Nielsen are providers of syndicated data, tracking food, drug, mass, military and convenience stores. SPINS data is specific to natural and specialty food stores. It’s important to note that not all retailers agree to share their data with these companies.

In next week’s RDBA e-Weekly, we’ll provide tips on how to access and use these various data sets.