At gap intelligence, we are always looking for ways to improve our data. We strive to provide our clients with the most accurate, thorough data available. This means we occasionally have to change the way we do things. As a data operations specialist within the printer consumables team, I helped to implement several changes to our ink and toner Pricing and Promotions Reports that are rolling out this month. Some of the changes that our clients can expect to see are:

•    The addition of to the ecommerce channel
•    The transfer of from the channel to the ecommerce channel
•    The removal of drugstores from the retail channel

These additions and changes were made after a thorough evaluation was conducted that determined the value of the data from these merchants to our clients.


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Adding to the Ecommerce channel

It's no secret that consumer purchasing preferences have been shifting toward ecommerce for several years. As more brick-and-mortar stores lose sales and close their doors, retailers are searching for ways to stay relevant. Merchants of various sectors are constantly chasing internet giant Amazon, whose dominant ecommerce model has become the status quo for online shopping. The printing industry is no exception.

Quill was acquired by Staples in 1998. The merchant boasts that over 1 million products are sold on its website, including over 1,000 printers and many more thousands of consumables. The subsidiary also sells its own Quill brand consumables. In fact, approximately 30% of toners and 13.5% of inks within the gap intelligence panel tracked on the site in January 2017 are Quill brand. The company backs its brand with a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee that offers a national brand replacement or a full refund. In addition to its assortment of OEM and non-OEM brands, Quill also sells Sustainable Earth, a Staples brand. The addition of to our ecommerce assortment gives clients a more complete picture of the online consumables marketplace.

Benefits of Quill Brand Ink and Toner Cartridges

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Formerly owned by Systemax, TigerDirect was purchased by PCMall in late 2015. Earlier that year, the company closed all but three of its brick-and-mortar stores. In 2016, those three remaining stores were closed as well and the company re-launched its website under PCMall’s ownership. TigerDirect’s main customer base is the B2B sector, as the site denotes by including the word “Business” in their new logo. The ecommerce site is one of the largest in gap intelligence’s ecommerce panel in terms of relevant SKU counts. Our clients can see price points and stock status for all products within the consumables panel, as well as pricing trends for these products.  Moving from the section within our Pricing & Promotions reports to the ecommerce section allows for our clients to compare the products and prices at the site with other resellers that are more similar. will now be included as a price point when calculating the average price for the ecommerce channel rather than the channel, which is comprised of resellers that have both online and brick and mortar locations. 

TigerDirect Business

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Removing Drugstores from the Retail Channel

One of the unique ways gap intelligence provides clients with accurate and timely data is through in-store data collection. We employ dozens of retail collectors who collect data from retail locations across the country each week. In fact, our collectors track prices, promotions, products, and placements in 22 major cities in the US. This data gives our clients up-to-date information about the market that cannot be replicated through any kind of online analysis. 

While the dynamic of pricing and placements at the drug stores for Ink and Paper assortments is unique in that pricing is often higher that at other stores and assortments are smaller, clients noted that they did not have the sales data to connect to gap intelligence's data to show a complete picture.  With that feedback, gap intelligence decided that sending collectors to CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens stores around the country was not providing the high value data points that it once did to clients. Drugstore retail collection was discontinued as of January 1, 2017.

Looking Ahead

While our methods for data collection and analysis are always evolving, one thing remains constant at gap intelligence: our desire to provide the best and most respected data and services to our clients. Be on the lookout for more positive changes at gap intelligence through what we expect to be an exciting and productive year!