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Smart insights: Retail

The pace of change in the retail industry is driven by digital advancements: more touchpoints, more product reviews and comparisons for consumers to access anytime, anywhere. And more variety in the path to purchase of shoppers.

To stay competitive and relevant, retail businesses need to understand evolving shopping behaviors and target group demands. They need to apply this knowledge to create differentiated experiences across both digital and physical environments.

Our retail industry research experts provide the insights to support you at every stage: from measuring your shoppers’ experiences and paths to purchase, to monitoring retail performance and trends.

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    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

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    Your business is all about your consumers. So understanding them is essential in ensuring your products and services meet their needs, and in identifying opportunities for growth.

    Our international consumer panel data and research expertise provide you with smart customer insights into who your consumers are, their attitudes and behaviors, across channels.

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • Shopper

    Shopper

    Digital continues to open up new paths to purchase, changing how and where people shop. More and more data becomes available every day, as shoppers embrace multi-channel brand experiences.

    To stay competitive in this big data, multi-channel environment, businesses need to identify and leverage the most relevant data along the entire path to purchase. With this, companies can optimize each step of the shopper journey. 

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    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Geomarketing

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    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for retail industry. View all insights

    • 03/08/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Consumer Goods
    • Shopper
    • Canada
    • English

    Welcome to the world of the Connected Consumer

    It's time to think differently. Today's consumers are harnessing technology to reinvent themselves, their lives and their communities. They are changing the existing value system. Connected Consumers embrace freedom, acceleration and intimacy. Are you ready? The future is now.
    • 01/29/16
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Canada
    • English

    Marketing to Millennials: the new generation of pet owners

    The Millennials, a generation of 18-35 year olds are marrying later (if at all) and delaying house purchase. In the US, this group overtook the Baby Boomers (those aged 50-69) as the largest population of pet owners in 2014. What does this mean for pet food manufacturers?
    • 01/28/16
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Retail
    • Canada
    • English

    What makes us want to look good?

    On average, we spend 4 hours a week on bathing, shaving, getting dressed, doing our hair and putting on make-up (some of us) 1. This combines almost five hours a week for women and just over three hours for men. But what are the big motivating factors that drive us to want to look our best? Well, when it comes to major (rather than minor) reasons – the most popular motivation is to feel good about ourselves. This was cited by 60 percent of the 27,000 people interviewed, followed by making a good impression on people we meet for the first time (44 percent) and setting a good example for our children (40 percent). These top three reasons hold true for both men and women. But the number one reason – to feel good about ourselves – resonates more strongly with women (67 percent women, versus 52 percent men), while the making a good first impression and setting a good example for our other two reasons are cited by almost the same percentage of men as women. Infographic showing top 3 reasons for looking one’s best, by gender

    Gender divide

    For men, the fourth and fifth most popular major reasons for trying to look their best are to please their spouse or partner and to make a good impression on people of the opposite sex or those they find attractive (37 and 36 percent respectively). By contrast, women are more motivated in trying to look their best by the wish to express their individuality and because it makes them feel in control (both standing in fourth place equal, at 40 percent each).

    Top 3 motivations change with age

    All age groups agree that feeling good about themselves is the leading major motivation for trying to look their best. But when it comes to the next most popular trigger, the age groups differ. Not surprisingly, people under 30 years of age are more focused on making a good impression on people they meet for the first time, and making a good impression on people of the opposite sex or those they find attractive rank. For this age group, these rank 2nd and 3rd as the major reasons for looking their best. For those aged 30 and above, setting a good example for their children is consistent across all age groups as the 2nd most commonly cited motivation. And when it comes to those aged 50 and over, pleasing their spouse or partner makes an appearance as their 3rd most popular major reason.

    Italians, Argentinians and Americans spend most time on personal grooming

    Italians lead when it comes to time spent on personal grooming (bathing, shaving, dressing, hair, make-up) – saying they spend just over five and a half hours per week on average. They are followed by Argentinians and Americans, who are equal at just over five and a quarter hours per week. At the other end of the scale, Chinese say they spend less than three hours per week on average, followed by South Koreans with just over three and a quarter hours and Japanese just over three and a half. Download our free data charts showing full findings for each of the 22 countries.

    About the study

    1GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Online data were collected using a staggered field start that completed in June 2015 and weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.
    • 09/07/16
    • Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Back-to-school shopping isn’t just about deals

    Although my own children are no longer students, I have certainly noticed that it’s back-to-school time. I’ve also noticed something interesting about the barrage of emails, store signage, and even news stories related to this shopping season: most of the messages are about saving money. This is a perfectly valid advertising tactic. But money is not a parent’s only pain point, and marketers can do much more than offer discounts to improve the shopping experience.

    Stores are still relevant for Millennial parents

    Millennial moms and dads around the world are a growing and desirable target segment.  These younger parents are ambitious and acquisitive. They are also stressed, and look to technology for solutions, including when they shop. But will this generation of digital natives avoid stores altogether in favor of online alternatives? Probably not. A recent GfK survey of Canadian parents indicates that Millennials plan to spend more than other parents on back-to-school shopping, and they plan to do most of this shopping in stores. The kids are likely to join them on these trips. Most (83%) Americans with children under age 6 go shopping with their children frequently or fairly often, as do 80% of those with children age 6-12 and 73% of those with teens age 13-17, according to recent GfK Consumer Life research. Shopping with little ones is no walk in the park, though. Retailers can consider many ways to improve the experience:
    • Offer in-store entertainment in the form of drop-off child-care centers, child-sized carts, maybe even on-cart gaming. Let parents skip the checkout line and pay via app while you deliver their cart to their car. Provide free, healthy snacks for kids. Not only will these services make parents and kids happier, it will improve the experience for other shoppers.
    • Sometimes it isn’t practical to bring children into the store – for example, if they are sick or sleeping. But parents need to shop anyway. Offer delivery services where feasible, or let parents place their order ahead of time so they can pick it up curbside when they arrive.
    • If one parent stays home with the kids and the other ventures out, help them share the shopping in a virtual way, beyond endless phone calls about what brand of cereal to get. US Millennials, including the parents among them, are more interested in experiencing various things using virtual reality or augmented reality, such as shopping as if they are in a real store.

    Make it easier for older parents, too

    Once the kids are older, shopping attitudes and behavior shift somewhat. GfK Consumer Life has found that middle-aged Gen X parents are more likely than Millennials to agree that it’s fun to browse in stores and that shopping is something for family to do together. For parents of teens and tweens, marketers can offer back-to-school shopping fun in the form of funky products and events. Yet Gen X parents are also more likely than others to say that crowds and lines are the worst thing about shopping in stores. In other words, they appreciate streamlining too. And they will continue to appreciate it after the kids turn 18, because parenting doesn’t end there. Bed, Bath & Beyond offers a Pack and Hold service so college students can order what they need for their dorms and apartments ahead of time and have it ready to pick up in the town where they’re attending school. In the college town where I shop, this is no small matter of a few boxes sitting in the back of the store. Here’s how the parking lot looked on move-in weekend – a row of shipping containers filled with labeled boxes. Inside the store, it was entertaining to watch the young adults – every single one of them accompanied by well-meaning parents intent on navigating their offspring through this transition to semi-independent living. I heard one earnest mother say, “Maybe you should get a teapot. Your girlfriend drinks tea.” That snippet of conversation held a world of meaning. Today’s parents are often accused of being over-involved in their children’s lives. But the kids don’t seem to mind. The young man with the tea-drinking girlfriend certainly didn’t. After all, he might have been getting the teapot, but he wasn’t the one buying it.

    Conclusion

    The transition to adulthood takes longer than it used to, which means that active parenting is a long haul these days. Baby Boomers are nearly past this stage of life, but Gen Xers are still in the midst of it, and Millennials are just starting out. Make it easier for them every step of the way by understanding the role that children play in their budgets, schedules, and most importantly, their hearts. Diane Crispell is a Senior Consultant with GfK Consumer Life. She can be reached at diane.crispell@gfk.com.
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