A consumer shift toward nontraditional channels of trade such as online retailers and discounters has accompanied a decreased visibility into market trends, according to a new report.
An omnichannel consumer panel study conducted by Infoscout indicates sales declines among traditional retailers that share their point-of-sale (POS) data. The panel indicated sales among retailers tracked by syndicated POS data reported a 0.3% decline in sales for the 12 months ending Feb. 28, 2018; however, retail sales tracked by InfoScout in so-called “blind spot” channels invisible to syndicated POS—including Amazon, Aldi, Lidl, Trader Joe's and the convenience channel—increased by 12.3%.
“CPG companies have relied upon retailers to syndicate their POS data for decades as the basis for understanding market trends, but our consumer panel is revealing that POS data alone only illuminates a portion of the market, and that portion is shrinking,” said Jared Schrieber, co-founder and CEO of InfoScout, in a statement. “In reality, retail sales are increasing, but just not in the channels that legacy methods of tracking can capture.”
InfoScout said its omnichannel consumer panel is now composed of more than 500,000 American consumers. Participants in the panel continuously report purchases from every shopping trip and dining occasion, including traditional grocery, big box, e-commerce, club and specialty, convenience, and quick-service restaurants. Collectively, the panel provides InfoScout and its clients with visibility into more than one out of every 500 shopping trips in America, the company said.
The panel also found that e-commerce grew 18% over last year and now accounts for 16% of all omnichannel consumer goods sales. The most significant factor driving online sales growth is attributed to the increased trip frequency with which existing online shoppers are transacting with e-tailers. InfoScout’s data indicates that Amazon is benefiting from this trend more than any other retailer by capturing 80% of all growth in e-commerce for consumer goods.