• U.S. Retailers Only
• Australia Retailers Only
Frequently Asked Questions
The individual store data from our panel members is immediately merged with the data from all stores on the panel, and the individual store name is deleted during the merge process, so even if someone hacked into our database they couldn’t identify any sales/inventory figures with an individual store. We also offer the ability to upload reports directly to our highly protected server via 128-bit encryption (a level that has never been cracked).
Also, to assure ActionWatch Retail Panel members that we are sincere about our confidentiality efforts, we also sign a confidentiality agreement with each panel member that contractually states the fact that we will never share individual store information with anyone (indeed, we won’t even share information about which retailers are on our panel without express consent).
Our strict confidentiality agreements do not allow us to disclose the identities of the Panel members. But we can say some general things about the “average” ActionWatch Panel member. The average Panel member is a retailer with a single store and roughly 3,500 sq. ft of sales space. The median year in which the retailer opened the shop is 1999. The Panel is distributed across the U.S. with participating stores in all major regions. Most Panel members have their own web site, many of these practice some form of e-commerce and a few maintain large-scale, integrated e-commerce sites.
It’s true that the most important market information for you to consider when making business decisions is what is going on in your local market. But the most successful retailers also want to see what is going on in similar retail stores across the nation to: 1) help them identify bigger trends that are hard to identify when looking only at information from one market and 2) give them benchmarking information to compare their store against. The best way to measure a store’s success is to have a measuring tool that is appropriate for that store’s industry.
Also, manufacturers in the industry use this information to help them stock the products retailers need when they need them. Ever had a hot-selling item that you needed to reorder but you couldn’t get it because the manufacturer was also out? POS-based reporting programs like ActionWatch help an industry run more efficiently by providing manufacturers with more timely data. These programs allow manufacturers to see their hot-selling items before you reorder, allowing them the necessary time to make the item and have it ready to ship when you need it.
Like POS-tracking services in other industries, ActionWatch production costs are paid for by industry manufacturers who use the reports to help them make sure they are making and stocking the items that your customers want.
ActionWatch reports are made from aggregated data that represent the entire U.S. whereas retail is a very local craft. Neither manufacturers nor experienced retailers can successfully use national data by itself to determine where they should open their next store or what they should stock in that store.
Not because of ActionWatch! Your best buying decisions are based on your local market and on your own store’s data. ActionWatch reports provide the secondary information that may support certain buying strategies, without outlining any one in particular. Retailer reports are useful for seeing broad market trends, benchmarking and doing price-point comparisons. ActionWatch does not lay out a clear plan for a single retailer’s business.
Depending on which POS
software you use, you may only need to do a short one-time setup and
then your reports are run and sent automatically each following month*.
With some POS systems it may take a few minutes each month to run and
send the necessary report. Be assured that we do everything we can to
make participation as easy as possible.
Yes. We have not invented a new concept. A large portion of the purchases you and I make every day are tracked through retailers’ POS systems. Here are a few of them:
Outdoor (camping, hiking, etc.)
Here’s a list of just a few of them:
Auto Parts stores
Consumer Electronics stores
Drug stores & pharmacies
Mobile phone specialty stores
Outdoor and Sporting Goods stores
Small independent grocers
Sport specialty stores (e.g. tennis, running, etc.)
Yes. Nielsen is one of the biggest. You’ve probably heard of the Nielsen ratings for television. However, they also have many POS-tracking services, including one called SoundScan for the music industry (www.soundscan.com). SoundScan retail panel members send in sales reports every week in exchange for getting aggregated reports back (just like ActionWatch panel members, except our panel only sends monthly reports). NPD Group (www.npd.com) and Information Resources Inc (www.infores.com) are the other two large market information companies. There are also a few small companies like AA Data Company who focus on niche industries.