Dunhumby, the company that manages the Tesco Clubcard scheme, is to sell customer data to the retailer's suppliers, so that they can get better insight into the performance of their promotions.
Dunhumby will use data on Tesco customers' buying habits to benchmark promoted products in a fraction of the time it normally takes for Tesco's suppliers to measure the performance of new products.
'Research houses such as AC Nielsen and Nelson Taylor Sofres typically take a sample of 10 to 15 households,' said Dunhumby products and services director Andy Hill. 'This means that to get useable results can take up to 24 weeks.
'By then the retailer may have already decided to take the product off the shelves, based on their EPoS data. We can use a sample of up to 10 million subjects, which means we can predict how a product is likely to perform in six weeks. It may be that a new product might not be selling well, but is particularly popular with a segment of loyal customers.
You're not going to know that just looking at sales data.'
According to Hill, retailers can benefit by having poorly performing lines changed early, to make space for more lucrative ranges.
'It gives suppliers the space to fix things before the retai-ler decides to pull the line,' he said.