Standard Article

Electronic Scanner Services

Part 2. Marketing Research

  1. Frank J. Mulhern

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem02046

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Mulhern, F. J. 2010. Electronic Scanner Services. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 2.

Author Information

  1. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Electronic scanner services are data-collection systems that capture brand sales information from scanner systems at retail store checkouts and sell that information to brand manufacturers and retailers. The retail scanner systems read the universal product codes (barcodes) on each item purchased and tabulate information on brand sales. Unlike scanner panels, which capture data on the purchases of individuals and households, electronic scanner services provide aggregate data for individual store locations, retail chains, and metropolitan areas. The scanner systems provide data with a great deal of detail including brand names, package sizes, and prices. The electronic scanner services industry is dominated by AC Nielsen and Information Resources Inc. Both companies collect data from carefully selected samples of retail store locations and conduct statistical analysis to estimate brand sales at the account (retail chain) and market levels. Scanner data services are shifting emphasis toward customer-level data, which allows for more precise measurement of purchase behavior. The leading company in customer-level data collection in retailing is DunnHumby, Inc.


  • scanner data;
  • retailing;
  • sales promotion;
  • point-of-purchase marketing;
  • customer databases