Some benefits for joining NCP, or National Consumer Panel, online are that members of NCP get rewards based on the points they earn each time they scan their purchases. NCP members also have access to online surveys and product testing programs.
Members of NCP online are sent a free barcode scanner, which they use to scan their grocery store purchases and earn rewards for their participation. They can also use their smartphones to scan via an iPhone or Android app. Besides scanning purchases, NCP members also earn points by taking occasional online surveys. These points can be redeemed for a wide variety of merchandise, including Visa reward cards, Amazon e-vouchers, iTunes gift cards, Kindle Fire cards and electronics. Long-serving participants in the program receive more points for their participation. Sweepstakes also take place weekly, monthly or quarterly for regular members. Other prizes, as of 2015, include cash, gift cards and electronics. Also, NCP members can get special discounts at AT&T as well as through other major retailers.
NCP is a service offered by a joint venture between the Nielsen company and IRI (formerly SymphonyIRI Group). NCP collects detailed information of the products scanned, such as the store, price, quantity and special deals. This information allows the company to calculate measures such as market penetration, average weight of purchase and loyalty for its manufacturing clients. Membership in the program is available through online registration at the NCP website. Acceptance into the program depends on household demographics and the current needs of the company.