Q:

What does an NCP national consumer panel do?

A:

Quick Answer

The National Consumer Panel provides manufacturers and retailers with information about the shopping habits of consumers. Participants use technology to record information about the products they buy and the places they shop. NCP collects the data and shares it with various retail organizations.

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Full Answer

NCP does not charge consumers to participate in their panels. To apply for membership, interested individuals complete an application and provide information about their household's size and the ages of its members. The application form also asks about annual income and general spending habits.

When a panel opening arises, NCP notifies the consumer. The time frame for panel placement varies, depending on the company's demographic needs. NCP provides new participants with a scanner or smart phone application to use while on the panel. Participating consumers then scan items purchased during shopping trips. They also provide information about which stores were visited and how much money was spent.

Participants send all of the collected information to NCP on a weekly basis. While no monetary compensation is offered for these services, participating consumers can earn bonus points that are redeemable for products or cash bonuses.

Once NCP compiles the data, manufacturers and retail companies use the statistics produced to determine which products and stores consumers prefer. This information contributes to decision making about future marketing campaigns and product pricing.

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