Study: 29 Percent Of Online SKUs Accidentally Leave Off Manufacturer Name

In an October sampling of some 7,000 products shown on the 10 largest E-Commerce sites in North America and the U.K., 29 percent of the SKUs did not include the manufacturer's name and some 8 percent offered up details that were simply wrong, according to a report released Wednesday (Nov. 7) at a Paris tradeshow. The fact that SKU GS1 data is imperfect is hardly a stunner, but the large number of defects was interesting. That missing manufacturer data, for example, could exclude products from a Kraft-specific search result. For the chain itself, it could interfere with analytics of which supplier's products are moving well.

The study, performed by vendor Clavis Technology and GS1, looked at 500 brands and 7,000 packaged food/beverage products across 23,000 Web pages. One of the biggest numbers the report stressed was that 67 percent of products examined were missing information. But that could go either way. Were products dinged for not including marketing copy or other non-sales-essential datapoints? Another good figure: 14 percent did not include any ingredients. That could be a costly omission, if a product containing an allergen—a nut product would be the most obvious issue—was purchased and eaten after the shopper did a search excluding anything that had peanut in its ingredient list.