I recently bought a number of items from a humongous online retailer. (Can’t mention any names, but let’s just say the founder of the company is the richest person in the world.) Some of the purchases were packaged separately, delivered on different days.

So you may ask, What’s the best way to record this? And that’s a good question. I can certainly see that reporting online purchases can be confusing!


Since online retailing continues to explode, it’s very important that our panelists accurately record these types of purchases. So here are some tips that will hopefully make your scanning life a little easier!


  • Online purchases may come in one or multiple shipments and don’t always include a packing receipt. Consider printing out your email/order confirmation so you can refer back to it when reporting your purchase.
  • If your items do come separately, please scan them as you receive them.
  • If an item arrives with the UPC barcode covered by another label, try carefully peeling off that label and scanning the UPC barcode on the item (or manually enter the barcode number if the barcode is damaged).
  • If you buy something from the website of a retailer that also has a storefront, make sure to report the trip as an online purchase. For example, if you order something from Walmart’s website, select “walmart.com” when you record the purchase (whether the item was shipped directly to you or picked up at the store).

Hope that helps! Have a great weekend.



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