Elements of the Trade Panel and Special Analyses with Trade Panel Data

Seminar Paper 2001 47 Pages

Business economics - Offline Marketing and Online Marketing


Table of contents


Abbreviation directory

Figure directory


1. Basics
1.1 What is a panel?
1.2 Overview over different panel types

2. Trade Panel
2.1 Data input (collection) and output (reporting)
2.2 The development of the trade panel
2.3 Food Tracking
2.4 Non Food Tracking
2.5 Special forms of the trade panel
2.6 Electronic trade panels
2.6.1 ScanTrack (by A.C. Nielsen)
2.6.2 MADAKOM (by CCG)
2.6.3 PromotionScan (by ACG)

3. Elements of the trade panel
3.1 The population of the retail trade panel
3.1.1 Definition of the population
3.1.2 Determination of the population.
3.2 The sample of a retail trade panel
3.3 Coverage of a trade panel
3.4 Trade panel extrapolation

4. Four dimensions of a trade panel number
4.1 Articles
4.2 Segments
4.3 Periods
4.4 Facts & Figures

5. Special analyses
5.1 Special analyses with traditional trade panel data
5.2 Special analyses with electronic trade panel data

6. International aspects of a retail tracking



Honour-literal assertion


“One of the most important data sources for marketing are panel researches which register the sales to the final consumer.”

(Hammann / Erichson, P., 2000, page 160)

“The importance of panel data for the market-focused management becomes constantly greater due to that ever more strongly becoming competition intensity and increasing individualization on the consumer - side. Only if it succeeds pointing the substantial current market flows out and detect new trends promptly a satisfying enterprise result on a middle- and long-term basis can be obtained.”

(Günther / Vossebein / Wildner, 1998, page V)

Consumers nowadays spend their money very well directed. This trend of trained buying restraints makes it increasingly hard to track them. Therefore complex panel research is inevitable if one is eager to keep his company in the black numbers.[1]

The objective of this seminar paper is, after a generally assertion over panels, to put more profound knowledge about trade panels across to the reader. Therefore a differentiation to other panel forms is primarily necessary, which in the first chapter takes place.

Furthermore a rough partitioning of the commercial panel follows in chapter two, since modifications in the assortment width and depth shifted the commercial landscape and the consumer’s shopping behavior and the associated regression of the traditional retail trade lead to a strong diversification of the institutes[2].

In the third chapter deals with the basic elements of the retail panel as well as some associated problems which are more specifically lit up and possible solutions are pointed out. This also includes a closer look at scanning and its connection to retail tracking. Due to the importance of scanning nowadays, I would additionally give a brief overview about actual scanning services.

In chapter four my goal is it to give an overview of the 4 dimensions of a panel number to the reader.

Since measurable facts & figures tend to grow, I will take a closer look at some special forms of figures regarding trade and electronic trade panel in chapter five.

Furthermore it is in my opinion meaningful to point out the international level of presence and comparability of commercial panels in times of the internationalization and globalization, Therefore this topic is explicitly dealt with in chapter six.

Abbreviation Directory

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure Directory

Fig. I “An example of a trade panel”

Fig. II “Different trade panels in practice”

Fig. III “Calculation - scheme in a trade panel”

Fig. IV “Purchase share of various PromotionScan product groups”

Fig. V “How is a retail panel established?”

Fig. VI “Revenue structure in gastronomy”

Fig. VII “InfoScan 2001”…..

Fig. VIII “A qualitative comparison between traditional panel and scanner panel.”

Fig. IX “MADAKOM Telegramm- Kit”..

Fig. X “Data collection and data flow in the MADAKOM – system.”

Fig. XI “GfK panels for retail tracking”

Fig. XII “Gas stations”

Fig. XIII “Basis data”

Fig. XIV “Disproportionate Sampling”

Fig. XV “Coverage of consumer and trade panel”.

Fig. XVI “An extraction of extrapolation cells”

Fig. XVII “An article pyramide”

Fig. XVIII “Development of the segments in the year of 1999”

Fig. XIX “Nielsen – Areas”

Fig. XX “Key – Accounts”

Fig. XXI “Impacts on price shifting”

Fig. XXII “Frequency of special offers”

1. Basics

1.1 What is a panel?

In most common literature panels are referred to be as a part of primary observant tracking methods which describe aspects of market development in a complex way. Panels observe a constant circumstance over a longer period of time within a constant circle of testing units, e.g. households, stores, persons, companies, etc. in the same manner. Because of these repeated single researches it is possible to show market changes over time and gain a growing basis for prognoses[3]. Furthermore panels try to continue researches with possibly the same sample because an identical replacement of one sample is as a cause of the collected data’s high multiplicity almost impossible.[4]

1.2 Overview over different panel types

According to different demands by companies or other bodies, marketing research institutes have developed different types of panels over time.

Basically panels can be divided into the following main categories: Trade panels (wholesale -and retail – panels)[5], consumer panels (household -, individual- and bulk buyer – panel), scannerpanels (which are mostly connected to trade or consumer panels), advertisement panels, integrated panels (Panel System Research, Nielsen Single Source), TV – panels, micro test markets (Telerim, GfK – BehaviorScan, etc.), pharma panels, special panels (MM – industry panel), international panels and other panels (Doctors – panel, packaging – panel, etc.).[6]

2. Trade panels

2.1 Data input (collection) and output (reporting)

Trade panels consist of panel researches which can be upraisen either on a wholesale - or a retail – level[7]. These researches take place within a certain temporal rhythm (usually every two months) over a longer period of time[8]. Sales representatives of the panel institute visit retail or wholesale stores which belong to the panel and calculate[9] the sales of certain product groups in the meantime by stocktaking, stocktaking comparisons as well as purchase vouchers. Besides that selling prices as well as often also product placements and special offer measures are registered.[10]

Selling prices are being recorded either ocularly or by EDP – excerpt. Values for all analyzed units in one product group are listed, thus products, brands, package sizes, scents, colors, tastes, etc. . Product placement concerns the special distribution of stocks and shelves. Examples for special offer measures are used displays, special offer participation, visits of the supplier’s sales representatives, etc. .[11]

Nowadays a more common way of gaining information is via data exchange between marketing research institutes and retail companies.

As a reward for given data, wholesalers and retailers are given market data for free or / and certain fees are paid by marketing research companies .[12]

The report to clients takes place in written or verbal form, additionally via data exchange, by means of data-communications and via installation of a central data base in the institute, where protected data can be used by the client. All data is personally presented approximately four weeks after the collection and / or documented in a report volume.[13]

The report can either be a running report which shows information chronologically, a standard report which shows the periodical results or an e xtra analysis which shows special information (See chapter 5.), e.g. concentration – analysis, price elasticities, etc. .[14]

A.C. Nielsen and GfK are the prestigous institutes which realize trade panels. The retail trade panel of the Nielsen company contains about 700 stores in germany, the one realized by the GfK covers about 900.[15] Highly specific information can be given, down to the basis of single articles. The GfK for example owns a so - called “Worldwide Masterfile” including over 450.000 single articles for over 100 branches.[16]

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Fig. V: “How is a retail panel established?”- This figure shows briefly all steps when implementing a retail panel.[17]

2.2 The development of the trade panel

When looking at history, the first classical trade panel was developed by the American A.C. Nielsen (1933). He was the first one, who realized that own operating figures were not enough to lead the sales department in the right way. Until the late 60’s retail tracking was defined as an information collection for certain groups of products in chosen, traditional retail stores and there was no differentiation of the trade panel. The most common trade structure back then consisted predominantly of small- and medium – sized stores which sold a wide but not deep assortment of goods. As the years went by, products became more sophisticated and foreign producers pushed their modified products (cheaper, better techniques) onto the market. All this lead to a change in assortment depth and breadth. Furthermore, consumers changed behavior and new distribution channels were created. Therefore marketing institutes were forced to diversify.[18]

2.3 Food Tracking

The Food Panel these days contains more than just the category food which is really used for consumption but also the groups of goods which are commonly used in this type of trade category such as detergent, body care, etc. . As nowadays a large part of the revenue is made through new retail types of stores, e.g. drugstores, pick – up stores, specialized trade, these types must be taken into consideration in order to preserve the representativity as well as gaining information about product - group specific distribution channels.[19]

2.4 Non Food Tracking

Basically, the Non Food Panel can be divided into two main categories: “Brown Goods” and “White Goods”. Examples for Brown Goods are televison sets, video cameras, radios, etc. . Large household equipment like refridgerators or ovens and small household equipment like electric irons or automatic shavers are types of products that fit into the category White Goods. Today’s higher diversification (which was mentioned above) requires an even finer structuring and therefore following panels were added separately: Photo-, telecommunication -, furniture -, jewelry-, sports -, garden -, office -, glas -, medical supply -, tool – and paint – panels. In contrast to the Brown and White Goods whose information is collected every two months, these panels have a varying registration frequency, caused by special customer’s wishes or seasonal aspects.[20]

2.5 Special forms of the trade panel

Since not all distribution channels are covered with the trade panel Food, it was necessary to create other special panels. Basically there are three special forms of trade panels: The Cash & Carry Panel, the Gastronomy Panel and the Impulse Panel.

The Cash & Carry Panel is important for the wholesale because the data spread needed there is much lower than for a normal trade panel usual. Only purchase - and sales – prices are being registered. Since there is no real stock, it is unnecessary to register the different stock levels.

The Gastronomy Panel[21] predominantly releases information about place and volume of purchased goods in the gastronomy. Information here is also collected by analyzing the purchase vouchers.

The Impulse Panel reflects the purchasing behavior within the so - called impulse channels, e.g. gas stations, kiosks, pump rooms, snack places. Vouchers again are used as an information basis.[22]


[1] Cp. <www.iri-gfk.de/home/home.htm>

[2] Cp. Günther / Vossebein / Wildner 1998, pages 41f.

[3] Cp. Günther / Vossebein / Wildner, 1998; Hamman, 2000; Pepels, 1995; Weis / Steinmetz, 1998; Koch, 1997; Berekoven, 1999; Dag, 2001

[4] Cp. Günther / Vossebein / Wildner 1998, page 2

[5] For graphical examples, see appendix page...: “An example of a trade panel”

[6] Cp. Günther / Vossbein / Wildner, 1998; Hammann / Erichson, 2000; Weis / Steinmetz, 1998; Koch, 1997

[7] For more detailed information see appendix, page.: “Different Trade Panels in practice”

[8] Cp. Weis / Steinmetz, 1998, page 167; Koch, 1997, page 120

[9] See appendix page 25, fig. III: “Calculation sceme in a trade panel”

[10] Cp. Bauer, 1995, page 192; Günther / Vossebein / Wildner, 1998, page 17; Hammann / Erichson, 2000, pages 165f. ; Pepels, 1995, page 220 ; Green, 1982, page 85

[11] See appendix page 26, fig. IV: “Purchase share of various PromotionScan product groups”

[12] Cp. Pepels, 1995, page 220

[13] Cp. Pepels, 1995, page 232

[14] Cp. Koch, 1997, pages 123ff.

[15] Hammann / Erichson, 2000, page 167

[16] Cp. <www.gfk.de/geschfelder/nonfood_tr/index.php>

[17] Source: <www.gfkms.com/definitions/panel/retailpanel.html>

[18] Cp. Günther / Vossebein / Wildner, 1998, pages 41f.

[19] Cp. Günther / Vossebein / Wildner, 1998, pages 42f.

[20] Cp. Günther / Vossebein / Wildner, 1998, pages 43f.

[21] See appendix page 27, fig. VI: “Revenue Structure in Gastronomy”

[22] Cp. Günther / Vossebein / Wildner, 1998, pages 44f.


ISBN (eBook)
File size
4 MB
Catalog Number
Institution / College
University of Cooperative Education Mannheim – International Business Admin. and Information Technology
1,2 (A+)
Trade Panels Market Research



Title: Elements of the Trade Panel and Special Analyses with Trade Panel Data