Nielsen Launches Tool to Track In-store Category Draw

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Nielsen Launches Tool to Track In-store Category Draw

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -Nielsen here yesterday launched a tool for manufacturers and retailers to use together to measure how certain product categories bring shoppers into stores.

Nielsen said it initially developed the tool, called the Nielsen Retailer Category Shopper & Buyer Scorecard, for Wal-Mart. The retailer is working with Nielsen to provide information for manufacturers to use in helping the chain penetrate key shopper segments with manufacturers' brands and consumer and shopper insights.

"We've pioneered an innovative and in-depth approach we call 'scorecarding' that examines shopper and buyer dynamics and determines the importance of categories and brands to types of stores and specific retailers," said Todd Hale, s.v.p., consumer and shopping insights, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services. "Using syndicated consumer and shopper tools, we've built a framework for manufacturers and retailers to use together in measuring how they're performing and how best to improve category sales performance. Knowing how a category attracts shoppers, buyers, trips and spending is more insightful than the traditional method of relying only on sales and sales growth. There's no better way for manufacturers and retailers to work together to maximize sales of the products as well as retailer sales."

Nielsen's total category shopper and buyer score is derived by ranking categories across eight shopper/buyer metrics, and examining shopper and buyer data. Data reviewed includes the number of shoppers and buyers for a category, the number of shopping trips to a retailer, and shopping trips for a category, buyer and trip conversion levels and spending per trip. The scores are summed to create a total shopper and buyer score and analyses can also take into account the demographics in a store's area as well as the local competition.

The resulting score tells manufacturers and retailers how a category attracts shoppers; how differences in retail formats and merchandising focus can drive more buying trips; whether a category attracts the shoppers who are more likely to shop in a particular retailer; how a category and a store are affected by area demographics and local competition; and how both sides can work together to influence shoppers to buy their brands and category at their stores.

"To demonstrate our scorecarding method, we've used data from our Homescan consumer panel to see which categories are best at bringing shoppers into a Wal-Mart Supercenter," Hale said. "The importance of Wal-Mart in the retail landscape cannot be overstated, but like all retailers, [its] best opportunities for growth lie in unique shopper insights into buying behavior at the store and category levels."

Hale noted that nearly 67 million households shopped a Wal-Mart Supercenter in 2006, and that 36 of the 124 mega-categories Nielsen studied drew more than 60 million households, demonstrating universal appeal across demographically different households. Of the 20 mega-categories that bring the most shoppers to Wal-Mart, 17 were food and beverage products, led by bread and baked goods.

In 68 mega-categories, Wal-Mart Supercenters converted 50 percent or more of its category shoppers to buyers, with the highest buyer conversion rates for bread and baked goods, snacks, and paper products. Eight of the top 20 conversion rate categories were not on the list of categories most likely to drive shoppers into a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the first place, but were product types Wal-Mart consumers have long looked for value: pet care, medications and remedies, pet food, and stationery & school supplies.

Nielsen and Progressive Grocer are sister companies under parent The Nielsen Co.